According to the answers to this question, a dust storm on Mars can last for many days.

Dust is a serious problem for mechanical joints if they use lubrication, because it may stick to the lubricant and can even impede its function.

How do Curiosity and other Mars rovers protect themselves from storms?

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    $\begingroup$ Note with 0.5% Earth atmosphere thickness, any dust storm is 200 times less intense than a storm of the same wind speeds on Earth. Sure Mars' 200km/h winds may sound impressive but remember it's 0.005bar of air pressure propelling the dust. $\endgroup$ – SF. Oct 1 '13 at 10:13
  • $\begingroup$ @SF.: But the dust is still hitting you at that speed, which is going to hurt. $\endgroup$ – Sean Jan 15 at 21:45

The gear boxes are sealed, often a labyrinth seal. Opportunity has been operating for almost ten years with many actuators still working fine.

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    $\begingroup$ A simple elegant solution to a bewilderingly complex situation! $\endgroup$ – RossC Sep 26 '13 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ And unlike Opportunity. Curiosity runs off RTG so it's not affected by diminished solar energy. $\endgroup$ – SF. Feb 5 '17 at 3:11

The engineers at NASA have made sure the rover is tightly sealed. Everything is made up of tough metals from the outside like titanium, copper, aluminium etc. So there is no chance of damage even in high speed dust storms. It also uses epoxies that are very strong and tightly seal the delicate instruments from the dust.Other joints are not problems as they are not affected by the dust As for the cameras the lenses are very tough, made of high grade polymer glass. There are no joints as you can see in the picture below, it is made of hydraulics which also is tightly sealed. So the hydraulic fluids are safe from the dust. Curiosity Rover

  • $\begingroup$ Actually, there are several joints. Perhaps a bigger resolution photograph will show them more clearly: Photograph from NASA JPL photojournal - warning, 22 MB resolution compressed in a 2 MB JPeG file!. Curiosity rover uses steel bearings in its joints that have similar thermal expansion properties as its mostly titanium frame. ;) $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Sep 28 '13 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ @TildalWave, I meant majority of it's parts $\endgroup$ – Shreesha Hegde Sep 29 '13 at 4:04
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    $\begingroup$ Hydraulics? There is no transfer of power using pressurized fluids on Mars rovers. $\endgroup$ – Mark Adler Sep 29 '13 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ As @TildalWave notes, there are many joints. You can see two very clearly in the picture, which are the steering actuators just above the front and back wheels. Every degree of freedom has a joint. Six wheel actuators, four steering actuators, five actuators in the arm, two for the high-gain antenna, two for the camera gimbal, and many more small ones for sample doors, drills, brushes, carousels, pumps, etc. $\endgroup$ – Mark Adler Sep 29 '13 at 15:26

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