One of the latest high-res self-assesment shots shows a bunch of clods cluttering up the top deck of JPL’s beautiful, clean rover. Nothing to worry about operationally, they tell us, but it must be terribly frustrating to be 80 million kilometres from being able to just brush it off!
Especially for these guys…
At first thought you’d expect the wind might clear it off eventually. But I’m not so sure… While Mars has a lot of wind, it’s atmosphere is only 1% as dense as ours, so that wind is incredibly thin.
Hence them being able to deploy a parachute at Mach 2 or something during descent.
Imagine a fine mist or fog as compared to the ocean, that’s about the relative density of Mars’ atmosphere to ours*. So the wind has as much chance of blowing those chunks of dirt off Curiosity as a middle-aged man in an easy chair does of floating on a cloud.
*He says with absolutely no authority or calculation, but, y’know, that sort of territory…