Deep Space Probes are functioning with very less human support in Europe. Let us know why!
There is something happening in the world which hasn’t happened in a long time. We are facing a global pandemic which needs no introduction, COVID-19.
Several governments around the world are in total shutdown. This situation is only getting worse. The disease still has no known cure and it is threatening millions of lives.
There are orders to reduce the flow of workers in both public and private firms. We can only hope to get out of this misery with patience and quarantine.
The Real Problem
Four major Deep space probes of Europe are now pushed into “safe modes”. This is nothing but a feature which allows the probes to work with little to no human support.
There is no doubt that this is directly connected to the coronavirus pandemic. This is a precautionary measure.
The government is planning to reduce the number of people workers in their respective countries.
This includes the employees working at the European Space Agency. They are coming back to their homes from Germany.
How Will The Probes Function?
The government is clear that their only priority is their employees’ good health. But this doesn’t mean they’ll allow their billion-dollar space mission to land in the bins.
All these probes are inter-planetary. This means that they travel from one planet to discover features on another.
They usually require the largest number of workers to be present in order to operate. But there are certain ways in which they can work without assistance for a limited period.
These probes will continue their trajectory in a safe and stable orbit. There are pre-built methods which can support the probes with this.
Initially, they developed this to retain operation when the probe goes behind the sun. The officials are in turn confident that the probes can stay in this way for months.
The Names of the Probes
Europe has two major space vehicles around Mars. The Mars Express and the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.
Their major purpose is to keep a track of Mars’ atmosphere. These are the major probes feeding Europe with details about Mars.
But these are not the only Deep Space Probes which are going quiet. Cluster is another space mission which is under lockdown.
The Cluster, as the name suggests, is a collection of 4 spacecraft. They are meant to collect details about how the earth’s magnetic layer gets affected by the Sun.
Europe’s Solar Orbiter is another mission which is about to run quietly. This came into being to study the sun’s poles.
All these deep space probes will have little to no interaction with the command centre. BepiColombo is another important mission which is about to get affected.
It is a lander which got designed for Mercury in particular. It is about to fly by the earth’s atmosphere for a gravity assist as soon as April.
The Reason Behind This
It was not on Europe’s list to shut down the space program. But recently, one of the employee’s of their space program in Darmstadt came back positive for the Corona test.
In order to prevent any further spread of the virus and to save the space program from further delays, it has made this decision.
The entire world is hoping for this outbreak to pass as soon as possible. Having very little strategies against the outbreak, the only thing we can possiblyṣ do is prevent the virus from spreading.
Aside from Deep Space Probes, the launch of Rosalind Franklin, a Mars rover designed in Europe, is also delayed. It is now scheduled for launch somewhere in 2022.