NASA has temporarily lost the ability to communicate with its Mars fleet, according to a statement issued by the space agency citing a phenomenon that occurs every two years that blocks commands from being sent to its robotic explorers.
The phenomenon, known as Mars solar conjunction, occurs when the Sun moves between Earth and Mars every other year.
“Like dancers on either side of a huge bonfire, the two planets are temporarily invisible to each other,” reads a NASA FAQ page describing the biennial celestial event.
NASA says its rovers and orbital craft currently engaged in science missions on Mars will not discontinue operations, although data collection will remain limited for two weeks while Earth and Mars remain on either side of the Sun.
This year’s solar moratorium officially began on November 11 and will last until the 25th.
During the period of interrupted communication, some of the instruments are temporarily taken offline by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and no new instructions are dispatched to the robotic scientists on the Red Planet due to the likelihood that they will be lost once they encounter the interference caused by the Sun and the highly charged particles it emits.
However, in preparation for the communication breakdown, NASA sends two weeks’ worth of commands to its Mars fleet so that limited operations can continue.
Currently, NASA says its Perseverance and Curiosity rovers are being tasked with ongoing monitoring of surface conditions on Mars, as well as observations of weather conditions, radiation levels, and other information their onboard sensors can continue to monitor.
Ad Amazon : The reality of UFOs and extraterrestrials is here for those with the courage to examine it. We are not alone! We are only one of many different humanoids in a universe teeming with other intelligent life?