To avoid a possible collision of spacecraft hovering in the orbit of Mars, Nasa has exchanged data of its ongoing Mars mission with India, China, the UAE and the European Space Agency.
Reports suggest the data was exchanged in order to lower the risk of a collision because spacecraft of these countries are also currently hovering in the Martian orbit.
The development was revealed in a report by Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post which quoted a Nasa statement.
In the statement, Nasa said, “To assure the safety of our respective missions, Nasa is coordinating with the UAE, European Space Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the China National Space Administration, all of which have spacecraft in orbit around Mars, to exchange information on our respective Mars missions to ensure the safety of our respective spacecraft.”
In its report, the South China Morning Post said this “limited exchange of information” is consistent with customary practices that various satellite operators use to ensure effective communication with each others.
Isro’s Mars Orbiter Mission, Mangalyaan, spacecraft has been in Mars orbit since it entered there in 2014. With this feat, India became the first Asian country to successfully send a spacecraft to the Red Planet.
In the latest, Nasa was able successfully land a rover called Perseverance on Mars in February. The rover is currently exploring the Martian surface.
On the other hand, China’s Tianwen-1 consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, entered the parking lot of orbit around Mars on February 24 and expected to land there in the next few months.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) spacecraft, Hope, is also orbiting the Mars. Apart from this, there are two spacecraft from the European Space Agency in the Martian orbit.
According to South China Morning Post report, Nasa had sought approval from the US Congress for exchanging information with China.