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Earth receive time

Watching the Mars landing last night was confusing at times. As there wasn't any real live feed of the landing they showed an animated simulation of it. This was nice and gave a good overview of what was happening. But having no real visuals also made it not clear at times were they talking about the actual landing as it was happening, or the delayed information of what had already happening.

At the time of landing Mars was over 60 million kilometers from Earth. That means over 11 minutes delay in all communications between the rover and mission control. The landing itself took only 7 minutes, so once the first signals confirming the landing had been initialized reached Earth the Perseverance rover had already been over four minutes on the ground (or could have been crashed while we were still watching the landing unfold, hoping the best). After seven nerve wrecking minutes the confirmation finally came: the landing was successful! Of course at that point in real time Percy was already taking her first pictures from the landscape.

Which such huge distances the time is different. And not even on any relativistic way. It's just that all it's speed the light still takes noticeable amount of time to reach us. And that's just our closest planet! Realtime "as it happens" becomes quite meaningless. Once we finally see the results it's too late to react to them. In space, all live feeds are essentially recordings.