Nasa’s Curiosity Rover back in business after Mars solar conjunction
Nasa’s Curiosity rover is back in business after a weeks-long communication gap caused by solar interference.
The rover had been on its own since early April, when Mars slipped behind the sun from Earth’s perspective. AFP
The sub can disrupt communications between the two planets in this alignment, which is known as a Mars solar conjunction, so Curiosity’s handlers at Mission Control had temporarily stopped sending commands to the one-ton rover.
However, the heavens have shifted, bringing Mars and Earth back in touch and the Curiosity rover back within reach of its masters, SPACE.com reported.
“Can you hear me now? Conjunction is over. I have a clear view of Earth & am back to work!” Nasa officials wrote on behalf of the rover via the Curiosity Twitter feed.
Curiosity landed inside the red planet’s huge Gale Crater in August last year, kicking off a two-year surface mission to determine if Mars has ever been capable of supporting microbial life.
The rover has already checked off its main mission goal.