The spacecraft transporting the United States’ new Perseverance rover to Mars encountered a problem just a day after launch, causing it to briefly shut down, the US space agency NASA announced. The problem has since been fixed.
According to the space agency, shortly after the Mars 2020 mission spacecraft was placed on a trajectory that will carry it from Earth to Mars, it entered safe mode, causing all but its most essential systems to shut down for a period of time.
“With safe mode exit, the team is getting down to the business of interplanetary cruise,” Mars 2020 deputy project manager Matt Wallace of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in an agency blog post. “Next stop, Jezero Crater.”
The spaceship blasted off from Earth’s Kennedy Space Center on Thursday morning in a flawless launch. Although restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic threatened NASA’s schedule, everything was put in order in time for lift-off. As Sputnik reported, the launch date was not very negotiable, since it is timed to minimize the duration of travel to the red planet.
In just one day, the craft covered a cool million miles, NASA said, but there are still 289 million more to go. Hope Perseverance packed a book!