For much of April, the sun blocks the line of sight between Earth and Mars. This celestial alignment — called a Mars solar conjunction — makes it difficult for NASA engineers to send instructions or hear from the rovers in orbit and on the surface of Mars.
NASA officials explained, "The [communications] moratorium is a precaution against possible interference by the sun corrupting a command sent to the rover."
To put it in layman terms, rovers Curiosity and Opportunity won't be able to drive. Instead, they'll study their surroundings while orbiting spacecrafts will make observations, but for the most part, won't beam data back until Mars is in view again.
Sounds like a bunch of malarkey to us.
We at GlobalPost know the real reason why the little rovers are taking a brief hiatus — that's right, rovers Curiosity and Opportunity are heading south of the border to partayyyy.
While absolutely no credence should be given to that last statement above, we at GlobalPost can dream can't we?
If we had it our way, the Mars Rovers would be taking on Cancun like a 21-year-old coed with the alcohol tolerance of a seasoned sailor — think MTV Spring Break in the late nineties.
Insert dream sequence here: