Researchers say acoustic levitation could save equipment on Mars

Rovers may have been able to endure life on Mars longer than anyone expected, but things could be more tricky for any sort of long-term exploration, where dust could cause equipment to grind to a halt or even pose a risk to human explorers. Some researchers from the University of Vermont now say they might have an answer to that problem, however, and it's not too far removed from levitating fish. While no fish were actually involved in their experiment, the group is suggesting that the same principle of acoustic levitation could be used to lift dust off the surface of solar panels, space suits and other equipment. There is one big catch however, in that the levitation trick would only work inside a habitation or other enclosure where the sound waves can travel as they do on Earth -- because, as Total Recall taught us, bad things happen outside on Mars.