JPL Halts Mars Fleet Commands for Two Weeks Due to Solar Conjunction – Pasadena Now

 

NASA’s Perseverance rover captured this view of the situation the place it will likely be parked for a number of weeks throughout Mars photo voltaic conjunction, a interval when engineers cease sending instructions to spacecraft on the Purple Planet as a result of the Solar could intrude with radio alerts. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has introduced a two-week pause, from November 11 to 25, in sending instructions to its Mars fleet as a result of Mars photo voltaic conjunction. This phenomenon, which happens each two years when Earth and Mars are on reverse sides of the Solar, may probably corrupt radio alerts despatched from Earth resulting from scorching, ionized gasoline expelled from the Solar’s corona. Regardless of the pause, JPL’s rovers and orbiters will proceed to gather restricted information.

That’s to not say these robotic explorers are on vacation. NASA’s Perseverance and Curiosity rovers will monitor adjustments in floor situations, climate, and radiation as they keep parked. Though momentarily grounded, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter will use its colour digicam to review the motion of sand, which poses an ever-present problem to Mars missions. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Odyssey orbiter will proceed imaging the floor. And MAVEN will proceed amassing information on interactions between the environment and the Solar.

Whereas NASA often receives well being updates from the Mars fleet all through conjunction, there will probably be two days when the company won’t hear from it as a result of the Purple Planet will probably be absolutely behind the disk of the Solar.

As soon as the moratorium (because the communications pause is thought) ends, the orbiters will relay all of the pending science information to Earth, and the spacecraft can start receiving directions once more.

“Our mission groups have spent months making ready to-do lists for all our Mars spacecraft,” stated Roy Gladden, supervisor of the Mars Relay Community at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “We’ll nonetheless be capable of hear from them and test their states of well being over the subsequent few weeks.”

For extra about NASA’s Mars missions, go to:

https://mars.nasa.gov/

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