(ORDO NEWS) — Mars 2020, the spacecraft carrying NASA’s new Perseverance rover to the Red Planet, experienced technical difficulties and was temporarily operating in safe mode, the agency said.
“The data shows that the spacecraft entered safe mode because part of the spacecraft was slightly colder than expected while Mars 2020 was in the shadow of the Earth,” NASA said.
The spacecraft left the Earth’s shadow and the temperature returned to normal.
When the ship enters Safe Mode, it will shut down all systems except those required until it receives new commands from the Flight Control Center. “Right now, the Mars 2020 mission is completing a full assessment of the condition of the spacecraft and is working to return the spacecraft to its nominal configuration for its flight to Mars,” added NASA.
Update on @NASAPersevere: We have received telemetry (detailed spacecraft data) down from the spacecraft and have also been able to send commands up to the spacecraft. Perseverance is healthy and on its way to Mars. https://t.co/U6dAazpEBp
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) July 30, 2020
The spacecraft also experienced a delay in communicating with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Mars 2020 sent its first signal to ground controllers at 9:15 am (1315 GMT), but it was not until 11:30 (15:30 GMT) that it set telemetry.
Matt Wallace, deputy project manager, said that the fact that the spacecraft went into safe mode was not critical.
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