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NASA loses contact with Opportunity rover on Mars

Simulated sun on Mars
This series of images shows simulated views of a darkening Martian sky blotting out the sun from the Opportunity rover’s point of view, with the right side simulating Opportunity’s current view in the current dust storm. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / TAMU)

NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars has lost touch with its handlers back on Earth, probably due to a low-power condition brought on by a chokingly thick dust storm. The storm is covering an area of 14 million square miles, or a quarter of the Red Planet, NASA said today in a mission update.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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