Mars Perseverance Right Navigation Camera image was acquired on September 29, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA Mars landers are in pause-mode for some two weeks – operationally impacted by Mars solar conjunction, the period when the Sun comes between Mars and Earth, blocking signals.

Curiosity’s Front Hazard Avoidance camera took this photo on October 1, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This means NASA land rovers, Curiosity and Perseverance, will temporarily pause relaying raw images from the Red Planet for about two weeks, with new imagery to be available after October 18.

NASA’s InSight stationary Mars lander acquired this image using its robotic arm-mounted, Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) on September 27, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech





Similarly, NASA’s stationary lander, InSight, will momentarily pause sending back raw images for about three weeks, until after October 22.

China’s Zhurong rover.
Credit: Liang Ding, et al.









Safe mode

Lastly, also affected by the solar conjunction is China’s Zhurong rover.

Since September 13, operations using the robot have been suspended for about 50 days. Zhurong has been put into “safe mode,” autonomously carrying out health assessments, self-monitoring and trouble-shooting until communication can be restored.

Zhurong communications are expected to be restored in late October.

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