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NASA Pauses Mars Missions To Avoid Interference
infrmationweek ^ | April 04, 2013 02:00 PM | J. Nicholas Hoover

Posted on 04/04/2013 5:52:37 PM PDT by BenLurkin

In an effort to avoid problems caused by interference, NASA will temporarily limit scientific observations by its Mars rovers and orbiters beginning Thursday as the Red Planet passes behind the sun as seen from Earth. The sun will appear between Earth and Mars throughout the month of April in a setup known as a Mars solar conjunction, which can interfere with communications between the two planets. Specifically, during these solar conjunctions, solar flares and charged particles being emitted from the sun can disrupt radio communications, and thus could interfere with the stream of data being sent back and forth to NASA's spacecraft and rovers on Mars.

Solar conjunctions appear every 26 months or so, each time causing temporary stand-downs of NASA's Mars missions. NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter has gone through six conjunctions, providing NASA with sufficient experience to ensure a smooth transition. Curiosity is the only piece of equipment that has yet to be through a solar conjunction.

Communications with and control of the Mars Curiosity rover and communications with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will be suspended beginning Thursday, with communications with the Opportunity rover ending and Odyssey orbiter being limited beginning April 9. The spacecraft will be fully back online by May 1.


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: coronalmassejection; curiosity; mars; marsrover; nasa; solarflares

1 posted on 04/04/2013 5:52:37 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

Yeah, I can see how trying to accomplish radio-linked remote control through 880,000 miles of thermonuclear hell might put the old S/N ratio into the danger zone.


2 posted on 04/04/2013 5:54:47 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Steely Tom

http://www.moviesoundclips.net/download.php?id=2852&ft=mp3


3 posted on 04/04/2013 5:56:55 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

They halt the comm but keep the engines running?


4 posted on 04/04/2013 5:58:20 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: Steely Tom

Aren’t there some type of stationary radio towers that monitor the sun out there? can’t they just use these to relay signals?


5 posted on 04/04/2013 5:59:17 PM PDT by FreedomStar3028
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To: Steely Tom
That made me LOL. 73s.

/johnny

6 posted on 04/04/2013 6:02:21 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: BenLurkin

Sorry. EE humor. Lame.


7 posted on 04/04/2013 6:03:59 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Steely Tom

http://www.johnspeedie.com/healy/brilliant.wav


8 posted on 04/04/2013 6:06:00 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: FreedomStar3028
Aren’t there some type of stationary radio towers that monitor the sun out there? can’t they just use these to relay signals?

Well, yeah, they could bounce it off that relay station we set up on Pluto during the Disney administration. But now that Pluto's no longer a planet, it's a long shot.

Juust kidding. Where's your sense of humor?

9 posted on 04/04/2013 6:07:38 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Steely Tom

I don’t know what they are called, SOHO or something.


10 posted on 04/04/2013 6:15:13 PM PDT by FreedomStar3028
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To: BenLurkin

The Orbit of Mars

This animation shows how Earth and Mars move around the Sun in their orbits.

Click the “Play Fast” button in the lower left corner to make the planets move. For every second that goes by, the planets will move ahead one week’s worth of time.
(requires Flash player)

http://www.windows2universe.org/mars/mars_orbit.html


11 posted on 04/04/2013 6:16:04 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: BenLurkin

Next date of Earth/Mars opposition:
8 April 2014

Next date of closest encounter with Mars:
14 April 2014

http://cseligman.com/text/planets/marsoppositions.htm


12 posted on 04/04/2013 6:22:05 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: FreedomStar3028
Yeah, I know what you're talking about. The orbiting solar observatories.

There are actually quite a few of them. I couldn't help making a bit of fun of what is actually not a terrible idea, as long as we're brainstorming.

OK. Brainstorming period's over. It'll never work.

13 posted on 04/04/2013 6:24:30 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: FreedomStar3028

SOHO is the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_and_Heliospheric_Observatory

It is not a data relay satellite but an observation platform for study and monitoring of the Sun.

You might be thinking of the TDRS (Tracking and Data Relay Satellite) series of satellites that orbit the Earth.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracking_and_Data_Relay_Satellite

Again, they only orbit the Earth and could not do the job you would like them to do.


14 posted on 04/04/2013 6:26:59 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: FreedomStar3028

There are orbiters monitoring the sun but they’re either too close to the sun or its just not important enough to waste the satellite time relaying messages.

There are plenty of other missions out there that could be used as relays but the rovers can wait.


15 posted on 04/04/2013 6:35:29 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine; Steely Tom
I was thinking of the SOHO's, they transmit data back to Earth. Couldn't they be used to transmit data to Mars? forgive me if I'm wrong but aren't they positioned so we always have a view of each side of the sun. At least that's the way I've always interpreted it. Image and video hosting by TinyPic ?
16 posted on 04/04/2013 6:37:32 PM PDT by FreedomStar3028
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To: FreedomStar3028
SOHO not designed to relay data from other satellites. It's only an observatory.

SOHO is located at the L1 Lagrange point which is between the Sun and Earth so you have the same problem as being on Earth. More info here.



If we had a TDRS satellite set at the L4 or L5 points it could work.
More info on what Langrange points are here.
17 posted on 04/04/2013 6:47:46 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: FreedomStar3028

There are lots of craft out there that could be used as relays. Dawn, Juno, Cassini, even New Horizons if you wanted a long relay.

I just think its not important. Besides, during the few weeks the rover sits there its saving us a few bucks. I’m a little surprised Obama hasn’t claimed it to be a victim of the sequester “cuts”.


18 posted on 04/04/2013 6:49:04 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Steely Tom; FreedomStar3028

Why is it always left to me for the
obligatory, “What about Uranus” type of comment?

BTW, can’t we use Uranus?


19 posted on 04/04/2013 6:55:46 PM PDT by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: wxgesr

RIMSHOT!


20 posted on 04/04/2013 6:57:46 PM PDT by FreedomStar3028
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To: wxgesr
BTW, can’t we use Uranus?

You think about Uranus too much.

21 posted on 04/04/2013 7:02:11 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: BenLurkin
The Mars solar conjunction.

Another consequence of the sequester.

22 posted on 04/04/2013 7:02:43 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: wxgesr

http://www.moviesoundclips.net/download.php?id=1000&ft=mp3


23 posted on 04/04/2013 7:26:53 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

So why hasn’t this been in the press prior to this year as such a big deal given they’ve been on mars through multiple cycles? Maybe it’s sequestration?!?!?!?!?!?/s


24 posted on 04/04/2013 8:04:06 PM PDT by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: reed13k

Good question.


25 posted on 04/05/2013 8:12:07 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin; KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ...

Thanks BenLurkin.
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

26 posted on 04/07/2013 9:05:02 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...

Extra to APoD members.


27 posted on 04/07/2013 9:06:48 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: wxgesr

Uranus retentive. That’s what you are.


28 posted on 04/07/2013 9:36:45 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron. No, they are both.)
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To: raybbr

Hello, my name is Ranus, Hugh Ranus. Damn glad to meet ya.


29 posted on 04/07/2013 11:52:33 AM PDT by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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