NASA reported that will have limited communication with spacecraft on Mars until November 25. According to the agency, this occurs due to the position of the Earth, the Sun and the red planet, a phenomenon known as solar conjunction of Mars and which occurs every two years.
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“Missions are stopped because hot ionized gas ejected from the Sun’s corona could potentially corrupt radio signals sent from Earth to NASA spacecraft on Marswhich would cause unexpected behavior,” explains the space agency in a statement.
NASA details, however, that the Perseverance and Curiosity rovers will not be on vacation. “They will monitor changes in surface conditions, climate and radiation while stationary,” she adds.
Other thefts that will stop communication will be the helicopter Ingenuity Mars, although, NASA says, it will use its heated camera to study the movement of sand on Mars. Meanwhile, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Odyssey orbiter They will continue to obtain images of the surface. And finally, Mavaen will continue to collect data on interactions between the atmosphere and the Sun.
“While NASA typically receives health updates from the Mars fleet throughout the conjunction, There will be two days in which the agency will not hear from it because the red planet will be completely behind the disk of the Sun“says NASA in a statement.
Once the communications pause ends, the robots will transmit all pending scientific data to Earth and the ships can begin receiving instructions again.
“Our mission teams have spent months preparing to-do lists for all of our Mars spacecraft,” said Roy Gladden, director of the Mars Relay Network at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “We will still be able to hear from him and check on his health in the coming weeks.”