Mars Perseverance Rover’s First Solar Conjunction

Perseverance's Selfie at Rochette

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Using its WATSON video camera, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took this selfie over a rock nicknamed “Rochette,” on Sept.10, 2021, the 198 th Martian day, or sol, of the objective. Two holes can be seen where the rover utilized its robotic arm to drill rock core samples. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ MSSS

As the Sun spews hot, stimulated gas from its external environment (corona) far throughout area, and Mars and Earth line up on opposite sides, this triggers disturbance with our radio signal interactions. This indicates reputable interaction is prevented, and we remain in a quiet-period for tactical everyday objective operations, called solar combination.

While this is the very first solar combination for Perseverance because landing on Mars on February 18, 2021, this is the 5th solar combination for Curiosity which offers us a chance to gain from their strategies, experiences, and lessons found out.

We are presently two-thirds of the method through this solar combination, sols 217-235 (September 28– October 17). While we can not send out brand-new directions to the rover throughout this time, Perseverance is not tired.

To guarantee that we can keep the rover healthy and safe, while carrying out remote science, robust preparation for combination started months back. In the sols leading up to combination, we confirmed that the rover remained in a safe area by carrying out all regular engineering and instrument upkeep operations, stowing the robotic arm, and publishing a couple of weeks’ worth of commands. These strategies were thoroughly built to guarantee steady positions for thermal, power, physical stability, and information volume for collections throughout combination.

The commanding prepare for the period is burglarized 3 various 6-sol length master series strategies which handover to one another. These master series identify the rover’s sol-to-sol schedule for when to sleep and carry out numerous science and engineering activities.

During this duration, Perseverance will not be performing any movement, robotic arm movement, sample caching system activities, or utilizing any of the instruments on the robotic arm. Meanwhile, Ingenuity is staying fixed sitting 575 feet (175 meters) far from Perseverance and will send out status reports to the rover as soon as each week.

After combination, just remote science will be permitted till all important engineering information has actually been gotten and examined which might take a couple of days to arrange through the enormous information downlink. Once small rover operations resume, Perseverance will continue to explore its community in the South Séítah area of Jezero Crater, where it will make its next sample effort.

As the worlds line up for solar combination and there is a break in tactical operations, our group is striving on tactical engineering activities for future enhancements for the rover objective operations system, examining information downlinked previous to combination, and seizing the day to revitalize and enjoy our house world.

See you on the other side of the Sun, Perseverance!

Written by Alyssa Deardorff, Systems Engineer at NASA/ JPL

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