Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission Updates: NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover lifted off successfully on July 30, at 5:20 PM IST (1150 GMT) aboard a ULA Atlas V 541 rocket from SLC 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The rover will take about seven months to travel to the Red Planet and after covering a distance of 482.8 million km approximately, on Feb. 18, 2021, will land in Mars’ Jezero Crater to search for signs of life, explore the planet’s geology and much more.
This is the 3 mission launched to Mars after China’s rover-orbiter and a United Arab Emirates orbiter.
The team controlling NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has received telemetry (detailed spacecraft data) down from the spacecraft and has also been able to send commands up to the spacecraft, according to Matt Wallace, the mission’s deputy project manager. At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, has confirmed that the spacecraft is healthy and on its way to Mars.
After successfully leaving the Earth orbit Mars 2020 spacecraft made first communication with the ground team. But the signal from the spacecraft was too high to the ground antenna to receive and NASA official told they need to re-configure the receiver antennas.
After few hours NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted saying, “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.”
NASA provided a more detailed update on two issues during launch operations,
Matt Wallace, the Mars 2020 Deputy Project Manager said, “First, the proximity of the spacecraft to Earth immediately after launch was saturating the ground station receivers of NASA’s DSN.”
“This is a known issue that we have encountered on other planetary missions, including during the launch of NASA’s Curiosity rover in 2011.”
“The Perseverance team worked through prepared mitigation strategies that included detuning the receivers and pointing the antennas slightly off-target from the spacecraft to bring the signal within an acceptable range. We are now in lock on telemetry after taking these actions.”
“The second issue was a transient event involving temperature on the spacecraft.”
“The mission uses a liquid Freon loop to bring heat from the center of the spacecraft to radiators on the cruise stage, which have a view to space.”
“We monitor the difference in temperature between the warm inlet to the radiators and the cooler outlet from the radiators.”
“As the spacecraft entered into Earth’s shadow, the Sun was temporary blocked by Earth, and the outlet temperature dropped.”
“This caused the difference between the warm inlet and cooler outlet to increase.”
“This transient differential tripped an alarm and caused the spacecraft to transition into the standby mode known as ‘safe mode.’”
Wallace continued saying “The spacecraft is in safe mode and stable mode.”
“With the understanding of the causes of these issues, we are conducting the operations necessary to move the spacecraft back out of safe mode and into normal cruise mode.”
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