NASA’s Perseverance rover has successfully landed on the surface of Mars – and that means two things. First, that very soon he will begin important work to find traces of ancient life on the planet. And secondly, the way of life of the mission team here on Earth will now change quite noticeably. This is because now its participants will live according to Martian time – their work shifts will henceforth be tied to the cycles of the Red Planet.
One day on Mars lasts roughly 24 hours and 37 minutes, which means that the shifts of operators and engineers will end at a different time each time. The first shift will begin at 14:00 local earth time, and will move 40 minutes each day. It’s a bit of a crazy mode, but it will only last three months (at least the mission command hopes so).
During previous landings on Mars, NASA engineers often put up clamshells and slept right at work to adjust to the constantly shifting schedule. But now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many team members work from home and are forced to solve problems with their calendar and schedule on their own.
After three months, mission operators will be able to return to their normal Earth schedule and recover from what many describe as endless. jetlag.