NASA on forced pause: A temporary radio silence with Mars has just begun. Find out why Mars missions, including the famous Curiosity and Perseverance, have stopped communicating with Earth.
NASA can no longer contact all its robotsrobots On Mars from November 11th. This is due to a well-known phenomenon, the conjunction of the planet with the Sun, as seen from Earth, occurring approximately every two years (see article below for previous information). During this period, Earth and Mars are aligned on either side of our star (see video below). In fact, coronal mass ejections threaten to degrade radio signals between the two worlds. This is why the US space agency prefers to avoid communicating with its machines on Mars during this entire period.
few days blackout
For once, the robots will be left to their own devices. Although they will remain silent for some time, they will continue to record valuable information. That’s it, they will be sent to Earth only later. This situation is expected to persist till November 25, 2023.
As a reminder, NASA currently has several robots on missions to Mars NomadNomad CuriosityCuriosity (Arrived in 2012 and just celebrated its 4,000th Martian day!) And it’s almost-twintwin Persistence, coming into 2021 in the company of extraordinary people helicopterhelicopter Simplicity (already 66 successful experimental flights!). In To revolve aroundTo revolve aroundrespondent Mars Reconnaissance OrbiterMars Reconnaissance Orbiter, mars odysseymars odyssey And MAVEN continues to scan the red planet.
article from Nathalie MayerNathalie Mayer Published on September 30, 2021
The same thing happens every two years. The Sun slips between Earth and Mars. A delicate moment for the engineers who operate it missions to marsmissions to mars, Therefore, it would be better for them to avoid sending orders to them. The next of these combinations will begin on October 2, 2021.
Perseverance, SimplicitySimplicityCuriosity, insightinsight, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), MAVEN. Just to name NASA. There are many missions going on in and around Mars. The problem is that a solar conjunction is in sight. This happens every two years. Our Earth and the Red Planet will then find themselves on either side of the Sun. And this yardyard The heat and ionizers that make up our star’s crown could, at that point, interfere with the radio signals that teams on Earth want to send to Mars missions.
As a security measure and to avoid compromising the future of its missions, NASA has decided to stop all communication of the command with its machines at least between October 2 and 16. To prepare for this off-peak period, engineers have already sent some simple commands to various machines. Like a list of homework to be done during the holidays.
Vacation Homework for Mars Mission
Thus for the Perseverance rover, the first two weeks of October 2021 will be dedicated, for example, to meteorological measurements – this will also be the case for the Curiosity rover – or to capturing new sounds using its microphone. but also for the observation of make rotationmake rotation dust (dust devil, Meanwhile, its helicopter companion Ingenuity will remain at rest. it’s 14I After assembly the flight was scheduled. InSight, for its part, will continue its mission by recording possible tremors on Mars EarthquakeEarthquake Can find out.
During this entire period, only a limited number of data will be able to reach Earth from Mars. It happened only later that astronomersastronomers Make a plan to recover them. But it should take them a good week! Only after this will normal mission operations resume.