NASA Perseverance rover ready to explore the wilds of Mars


"With the launch of Perseverance, we begin another historic mission of exploration", said NASA Administrator and previous Wash100 Award victor Jim Bridenstine.

When a spacecraft enters safe mode, all but essential systems are turned off until it receives new commands from mission control.

The Perseverance forms part of NASA's Moon to Mars mission, which aims to have the first woman (and the next man) on the moon by 2024.

On Thursday morning, NASA will launch a historic mission to Mars.

Everything seemed picture ideal, but NASA said a couple of glitchy things happened during the launch, neither of which are expected to jeopardize the mission.

"All temperatures are now nominal and the spacecraft is out of Earth's shadow", was the message it sent, according to a NASA press release.

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The mission uses a liquid freon loop to bring heat from the centre of the spacecraft to radiators on the cruise stage - the part that helps fly the rover to Mars - which have a view to space. The spacecraft was apparently too close to NASA's Deep Space Network - a system of ground-based antennas created to communicate to deep space - causing a signal saturation at the ground receivers, which prevented proper receipt of the telemetry data, according to NASA.

The next-generation robotic rover - a car-sized, six-wheeled vehicle carrying seven scientific instruments - is also scheduled to deploy a mini-helicopter on Mars and try out equipment for future human missions there.

Scientists have long debated whether Mars - once a much more hospitable place than it is today - ever harbored life.

"Perseverance is the most capable rover in history because it is standing on the shoulders of our pioneers Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity", said Michael Watkins, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. A NASA-provided payload on the orbiter would provide the capabilities needed to capture and contain the samples, placing them in an Earth entry vehicle that would land the samples safely on USA soil. We are going to Jezero Crater.

Flight controllers for NASAs Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission have returned the spacecraft to nominal flight operations, the U.S. space agency has said. NASA's Launch Services Program, based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management, and ULA provided the Atlas V rocket.