happening on Mars solar conjunction, NASA temporarily cuts off communication with spacecraft on Mars led. This event occurs between November 11-25 and occurs because Mars and Earth are on opposite sides of the Sun in their orbits. Due to the harmful effects of interference from the Sun during this alignment, NASA finds it risky to send commands to its vehicles on Mars.
Effects of Solar Conjunction on NASA
The communication outage with NASA’s instruments on Mars is directly related to the solar conjunction phenomenon. Solar conjunction means the alignment of the positions of Mars and Earth relative to the Sun in a certain order. During this alignment, ionized gases and interference emitted from the Sun can affect the communication signals of vehicles on Mars with Earth. This situation causes NASA to temporarily stop communication with vehicles on Mars.
NASA’s main concern in this process is the risk of disrupting the integrity of the signals sent to Mars. If the signals sent to vehicles on Mars are lost or damaged, these vehicles may face serious systemic problems. Hot gases emitted from the Sun’s corona can disrupt radio signals, causing incorrect commands to be detected in devices. This poses a serious threat to the safety of vehicles and missions on Mars.
Vehicles on Mars and the Solar Conjunction Process
During solar conjunction, devices such as the Perseverance and Curiosity rovers on Mars, the Ingenuity helicopter and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will experience a communication outage. However, during this period, these instruments will continue to operate on their own and continue their scientific missions. They will collect a limited amount of data during the communications outage, which will be sent to Earth once communications return to normal.
Engineers and mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory decided to temporarily cut off all signals during solar conjunction. This is seen as an important precaution for the safety of vehicles on Mars and the continuity of missions.