NASA will not be able to communicate with Mars exploration vehicles until November 25

NASA has temporarily lost contact with the Mars exploration spacecraft, reports Engadget.

The situation is expected and explained by an astronomical phenomenon known as a solar conjunction. During it, the Earth and Mars move on opposite sides of the Sun and form a straight line with it.

During this period, the Sun blocks radio signals between Mars and Earth, so normal communication with research vehicles is impossible. NASA does not send any commands to the equipment and waits for the planets to take more favorable positions.

This pause will last for two weeks – it began on November 11 and is scheduled to end on November 25.

This means that the Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, the Ingenuity helicopter, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Odyssey and MAVEN spacecraft will be left to their own devices for a while. Their onboard instruments will continue to collect data as part of their missions, but will not send this information to Earth for a while.

By the way, it has recently become known that NASA’s Perseverance rover recorded a dust vortex moving along the western edge of the Martian crater Jezero. The event was recorded on August 30, 2023. The data obtained indicate that the dust vortex was moving at a speed of about 12 mph (19 km/h). Its width was estimated at 60 meters and its height at 2 kilometers.