This artist rendering provided by NASA shows the positions of the sun, Earth and Mars, at left. Radio communications between Earth and Mars are limited during this planetary alignment, which occurs in April. Spacecraft in orbit around Mars and on the surface will not receive new commands during this period. Next month, Mars will be passing almost directly behind the sun, from Earth's perspective. The sun can easily disrupt radio transmissions between the two planets during that near-alignment. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Associated Press
This artist rendering provided by NASA shows the positions of the sun, Earth and Mars, at left. Radio communications between Earth and Mars are limited during this planetary alignment, which occurs in April.  Spacecraft in orbit around Mars and on the surface will not receive new commands during this period. Next month, Mars will be passing almost directly behind the sun, from Earth's perspective. The sun can easily disrupt radio transmissions between the two planets during that near-alignment. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech)
This artist rendering provided by NASA shows the positions of the sun, Earth and Mars, at left. Radio communications between Earth and Mars are limited during this planetary alignment, which occurs in April. Spacecraft in orbit around Mars and on the surface will not receive new commands during this period. Next month, Mars will be passing almost directly behind the sun, from Earth's perspective. The sun can easily disrupt radio transmissions between the two planets during that near-alignment. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech)
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