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NASA’s Perseverance rover is en route to Mars and on February 18, 2021, it is expected to land on the Jezero crater on the Red Planet. For now, however, it has been put into “safe mode,” with all systems except essential spacecraft systems shut down, having encountered technical issues after launch.
Safe Mode can only be turned off with new Mission Control commands, but as of now, NASA says it’s not too worried. The problem, according to the agency, was triggered when parts of the spacecraft got too cold in Earth’s shadow and Safe Mode was activated.
The spacecraft is now said to have returned to its normal temperature, but safe mode affected communications between the spacecraft and ground control, Business Insider reports. Via NASA’s Deep Space Network, the world’s largest scientific telecommunications network, the rover sent a signal at 9:15 a.m. EST, but NASA did not receive it until 11:30 a.m.
“All temperatures are now nominal and the spacecraft is out of Earth’s shadow,” was the message he sent, according to a press release from NASA.
Technical issues aside, NASA is hoping the Mars rover will be able to find signs of past microscopic life on the planet, as well as study its geology for future robotic – and perhaps even human expeditions. -.
“Jezero Crater is the perfect place to look for signs of ancient life,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Missions Directorate, said in a press release.
“Perseverance will make discoveries that lead us to rethink our questions about what Mars was and how we understand it today. As our instruments explore rocks along an ancient lake bottom and select samples to return to Earth, we may very well go back in time to get the information scientists need to say that life existed elsewhere in the world. the universe.