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All NASA Robots Turned Off When Mars Was Swallowed by the Sun

ANTARIKSA — The planet Mars has disappeared from any view from Earth’s perspective since Saturday, November 18 2023. The Red Planet is apparently being swallowed by the light of the Sun.

The disappearance of Mars may seem dramatic, but it is actually the result of Mars moving to the opposite side of the sun to Earth. Astronomers call the event that Earth and Mars experience every two years a solar conjunction.

According to In the SkyMars is only less than one degree from the sun
as he approaches the star. After that, the Red Planet will not be visible from Earth for several weeks because it will be swept away by the light of our star.

During a solar conjunction, Earth and Mars will also be at their farthest. Mars and Earth are usually separated by an average distance of about 225 million kilometers. During the solar conjunction, the two will be approximately 378 million km apart.

Also read: NASA robot on Mars finds dry river that was once inhabited

The Sun-Mars conjunction is not only important for skywatchers. For more than 20 years, NASA has operated robots such as the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers on the surface of Mars. Then, the Ingenuity helicopter that crosses barren and arid craters, and of course the spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet.

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NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter, photographed by NASA’s Perseverance rover on April 16, 2023. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

During solar conjunction, mission controllers on Earth will shut off all contact with the robotic Mars mission. Both rovers were grounded, Ingenuity was grounded, and the spacecraft could not transmit data back to Earth.

This is to prevent the possibility of entering partial commands that disrupt the operation of the robot or spacecraft in the future. NASA grounded the entire Mars fleet for two weeks, from November 11 to 25.

“This mission was terminated because hot, ionized gas emitted from the sun’s corona could potentially disrupt radio signals sent from Earth to NASA’s spacecraft on Mars, causing unexpected behavior,” NASA said in a statement.

Also Read: Mars Ingenuity Helicopter Takes Aerial Photos of Perseverance Robot

Mars Relay Network Manager Roy Gladden said the NASA mission team had prepared a to-do list for all Mars spacecraft after the conjunction.
“We can still hear from them and check their health conditions over the next few weeks,” he said.

Over the next few months Mars will emerge from the broad side of the Sun and will be visible in the sky before dawn. About a year from now, Mars will reach opposition, and at that time it will be visible most of the night from Earth. Source: Live Science

2023-11-22 05:43:00
#NASA #Robots #Turned #Mars #Swallowed #Sun

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