You can breathe easy now: Everything is officially fine with NASA newly released Mars rover Perseverance.
perseverance entered a “safe” defensive mode shortly after its take-off yesterday (July 30) because part of the ship became slightly colder than expected when magnifying through the Earth’s shadow.
NASA officials stressed at the time that this development was not particularly troubling and that perseverance, the agency’s main $ 2.7 billion hub Mission March 2020, is likely to bounce quickly. That optimism was fueled: Rover has gone out of safe mode and resumed normal operations, mission team members announced today (July 31st).
Live updates: NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance mission in real time
“Coming out of safe mode, the team is moving into the business of interplanetary navigation,” said Matt Wallace, deputy project manager for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. said in an update today. “The next stop, Krisma Jezero.”
Perseverance will descend inside the 28-kilometer-wide (45-kilometer) Jezero Jezero on February 18, 2021. The crater housed a lake and a river delta billions of years ago, and the car-sized rover will search the area for signs of antiquity life and characterize in detail its geology.
Perseverance will also collect and store several dozen samples on Mars, which a joint NASA / European Space Agency campaign will return to Earth, probably as early as 2031.
Related: The mission of the rover Mars Perseverance in the photo
March 2020 will also hold some technological demonstrations. For example, one of the instruments of persistence will generate oxygen from the atmosphere dominated by Mars carbon dioxide. The mission also contains a small one helicopter called Ingenuity, who will try to make the first spin flights in the sky of another world.
March 2020 is one of three missions currently heading towards the Red Planet. United Arab Emirates ‘ Hope orbiter and China Tianwen-1 orbiter-ground-rover mission launched July 19 and July 23, respectively. All of these crafts are scheduled to arrive in March in February 2021.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book on the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.