Mars missions have entered a 15 day 'Blackout' phase

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NASA's different Mars missions along with ISRO's Mars orbiter mission [MOM] have entered a 15 day Blackout phase when no proper communication can be made between the mission control and their respected missions.  

From June 7 to June 21, the satellites and rovers will not transmit any new data to Earth as the Red Planet goes behind the Sun. The positioning of Sun between the Earth and Mars is called Mars-solar conjunction.

This celestial geometry, that happens about every 26 months, leads to poor communications with spacecraft on or around Mars."Because the Sun disrupts radio transmissions between the Earth and Mars during conjunction, communications are curtailed," NASA said.

To prevent spacecraft at Mars from receiving garbled commands that could be misinterpreted or even harmful, the operators of Mars orbiters and rovers temporarily stopped sending any commands. Spacecraft are continuously making some science observations during the conjunction period though rovers are not doing any driving or arm movements.

According to ISRO, during this period MOM has also gone into an autonomous mode and taking its decisions on it's own. The orbiter is continuously collecting it's data and will transmit them after the conjunction to earth stations for analysis.

Other Mars missions like, MAVEN [Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution] is continuously monitoring the solar wind reaching Mars and making other measurements."The data will be stored and transmitted back to us after communications are re-established at the end of the solar conjunction period," added James Morrissey, MAVEN deputy project manager.

Transmissions from NASA's two other Mars orbiters, Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are continuing through the conjunction period, but some of those transmissions are not expected to reach the Earth. The active Mars rovers, Curiosity and Opportunity will send limited data to orbiters throughout conjunction for relay to the Earth during and after conjunction.


source:- ndtv.com
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