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Note: The current solar conjunction will begin on June 21, 2000 and end on July 12, 2000. Normal spacecraft operations will begin on July 13, 2000. Below is a description of the last solar conjunction that occurred in 1998.

The First MGS Solar Conjunction

Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft is through the first solar conjunction period which began on April 30, 1998 and ended on May 26, 1998. The solar conjunction period marked the end of the first Science Phasing Orbit (SPO-1).


Overhead View of Earth & Mars


Mars Global Surveyor's View of the Sun & Earth


Line of Sight Between Earth and Mars

During solar conjunction, the Sun gets in between the Earth and the MGS spacecraft, severely limiting communications. In the above picture, MGS is on the verge of entering the solar conjunction period.