Opportunity was in remarkably good health going into the storm. "AFP PHOTO / NASA"
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NASA's seemingly unstoppable Mars rover Opportunity has been knocked out by a gigantic dust storm that is enveloping the red planet and blotting out the sun. Officials said Wednesday they're hopeful the rover will survive the storm, which already covers one-quarter of Mars and is expected to encircle the planet in another few days. For now, Mars' oldest working rover is stuck in the middle of the raging storm, in round-the-clock darkness.Flight controllers tried late Tuesday night to contact Opportunity, but the rover did not respond.Opportunity, however, has kept exploring well past its expected mission lifetime.Dust storms crop up every so often at Mars, sending dust tens of kilometers into the atmosphere and turning day into night.In 2007, a massive dust storm kept Opportunity silent for a few days.
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