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Is Opportunity in Jeopardy?

Posted by Lydia on January 10th, 2008

Opportunity rover examining some rocks on the surface of MarsScientists have been tracking asteroid 2007 WD5, discovered in late November 2007, and believe it may impact Mars on January 30, 2008. There is actually a 1 in 25 chance of hitting the red planet, down from a 1 in 350 chance. One of NASA’s twin Mars surface rovers, Opportunity, was originally thought to have been in some danger. It is still operating years after being deployed, providing us with useful data on the composition of Martian rocks. The asteroid is currently located halfway between Earth and Mars and is about 50 miles across, similar in size to the object which hit Siberia in 1908. However, it’s likely that the impact zone close to the equator does not encompass where Opportunity is located. 2007 WD5 would leave a crater the size of Meteor Crater in the state of Arizona. Impact should occur about 10:55UT, 30 January 2008.

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