How will the European Space Agency’s closure of some of the probes affect space missions?

Beijing time on March 31, according tomedia reports, the European Space Agency is currently affected by the outbreak of the new coronavirus, in order to reduce the operation of space missions, is temporarily shutting down some of the probe’s scientific instruments. The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), which manages 21 active space probes, will have the impact of some notable missions, such as the ExoMars trace gas orbiter, the longer-life Mars Express orbiter, and the newly launched solar orbiter.

How will the European Space Agency's closure of some of the probes affect space missions?

  This image of the European Space Agency’s Mars Express rover shows the Terra Sabaea and Terra Arabia regions on the surface of Mars, where the probe’s scientific instruments were temporarily shut down during the new coronavirus outbreak.

Rolf Densing, head of space operations at the European Space Agency, said: “These space probes have stable orbits and long mission durations, so shutting down the scientific instruments on the space probeand and placing them in a largely unattended, safe environment for a period of time has little impact on their overall mission performance.” “

In fact, it is the latest move by the European Space Agency to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus, which says most of its staff have been online for nearly two weeks, and only those on mission-critical missions remain working at the European Space Agency, such as real-time spacecraft operators.

Shutting down the Mars rover isn’t the only mission affected, and the European Space Agency will delay the launch of the ExoMars Rosalynn Franklin probe until 2022, in part because of the detection of new coronavirus patients among the mission’s participants.

The European Space Agency will continue to monitor the development of the new coronavirus and eventually restore normal operations to the closed detectors. (Ye Ding Cheng)