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No contact with Mars for two weeks

No contact with Mars for two weeks

Several NASA instruments operate around the Red Planet and also on the surface of Mars. (Graphics: Shutterstock / Jurik Peter)

Perseverance, curiosity and creativity will have to stay on the surface of Mars for two weeks without orders from Earth. The reason to go there alone has to do with the sun.

when NASA Soon there will be a short break: from October 2 to October 14, 2021, the US space agency will suspend its communications towards Mars. The reason for this is the position of the sun in this period. The dwarf star then travels directly between Earth and Mars. “Like two dancers on either side of a large campfire, the two planets are temporarily invisible to each other,” he describes NASA The process is almost poetic to her Mars Program Blog.

NASA’s Mars fleet operates independently for two weeks to avoid damage

The so-called synchronization not only interrupts the view from Earth to Mars, but can also ensure that signals between ground stations and the Martian fleet are partially destroyed or completely lost. because that’s on determination, Curiosity and Co. may cause damage, a state of emergency reigns on Mars for two weeks. During the coupling time, no new commands are sent from the ground, the fleet independently processes the instructions that were prepared and accurately transmitted in advance.

Sun, Earth and Mars respectively – a short vacation for the NASA team?

While some devices are temporarily shut down, others continue to collect and store data. Some tools keep sending their results back to Earth – with the risk of losing data from time to time.

Allowing the orbiter, rover, and lander to operate completely autonomously may sound risky — but NASA is counting on the expertise of its engineers. “Like parents who raised their children to be responsible and allowed them to take a short vacation with friends, they did everything they could to keep travelers safe and healthy.” In fact, some employees will also use two weeks of radio silence to take a few days off by themselves or to do whatever work has arisen – before they continue to evaluate stored data and new task instructions after a short time.

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