Just a few hours after its launch, NASA has announced that Mars 2020, the spaceship carrying its Perseverance rover to Mars, is facing some technical glitches and is running on essential systems only.
As per reports, on Thursday (local time), NASA said that recent data indicates that the spacecraft has entered the 'safe mode' possibly because a part of the spacecraft was a little colder than expected while it was in Earth's shadow. Mars 2020 has left Earth's shadow and the temperatures are now normal, the agency added.
And so, the journey begins…— NASA (@NASA) July 30, 2020
With today’s launch of @NASAPersevere, we begin another historic mission of exploration. Our #CountdownToMars continues with Perseverance landing on the Martian surface on Feb. 18, 2021. More: https://t.co/Qv6xcL9anF pic.twitter.com/GwfW9xwFsw
According to the NASA statement, "When a spacecraft enters safe mode, all but essential systems are turned off until it receives new commands from mission control. An interplanetary launch is fast-paced and dynamic, so a spacecraft is designed to put itself in safe mode if its onboard computer perceives conditions are not within its preset parameters."
It added that the Mars 2020 mission is completing a full health assessment on the spacecraft at the moment and is working to return to a nominal configuration for the Mars journey.
As per reports, the mission's deputy project manager Matt Wallace said that the spaceship's safe mode was not overly concerning while adding that team is working through that telemetry and checking the rest of the spacecraft health.
Image Credits: NASA