Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Pasadena have put the Mars Curiosity Rover into a one month hibernation starting on 4 April. The reason is that the planetary alignment of Mars puts the sun and its atmosphere of highly charged particles more or less directly in the way of direct communications between Mars and Earth which makes commanding the spacecraft difficult. A basic signal transmitted from the rover effectively saying ”I am still alive” can still be received but commanding the rover has been suspended until 1 May.
Mars Rover Curiosity will be asleep for a while. Courtesy: NASA/JPL