What is Solar conjunction?

American Space Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently decided to stop sending active commands to its missions on the MARS for next few weeks till the time “Mars solar conjunction” remains in effect.

What is Solar Conjunction?

  • As per NASA, during the Mars solar conjunction period, Earth and the MARS will be on opposite sides of the Sun.
  • This position of both the planets will affect any communication attempt made by NASA for connecting with its Mars missions because Sun radiates hot & ionized gas from its corona.

How Solar Conjunction affects the missions on MARS?

  • These gases can interfere with radio signals if the agency try to communicate with spacecraft at Mars.
  • These radiations will stand in the middle of both the planets and corrupt commands. It could also result in unexpected behaviour from NASA’s deep space explorers.
  • Thus, NASA has decided to stop sending signals.

Will it completely halt the work?

No, this period would not halt the work on the red Planet completely because, engineers have already sent the list of simple commands to spacecrafts to carry works few weeks.

NASA’s mission on MARS

Presently, NASA has its Perseverance rover, Curiosity Rover, Ingenuity helicopter, stationary InSight lander stationed on the MARS apart from three orbiters. During the Mars solar conjunction period, these missions will work on different commands, sent to them beforehand. Perseverance rover will take weather measurements with the help of its Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) sensors. Rover will look for dust devils with its cameras and capture new sounds with the help of microphones.

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