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Home / Science / Space Ship Carrying Perseverance Switches to ‘Safe Mode’ After Glitch, but NASA Says Don’t Worry

Space Ship Carrying Perseverance Switches to ‘Safe Mode’ After Glitch, but NASA Says Don’t Worry



Launch of the Mars 2020 mission, with the Perseverance rover on board.

March 2020 mission lthe start, with the Perseverance rover on board.
Image: NASA / Joel Kowsky

True for this agonizing year which is 2020, yesterday the launch of NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover was not without problems.

As scheduled, ULA Atlas V rocket carries the Perseverance Rover u Ingenuity helicopter has been removed from Cape Canaveral Air Force Sfather in Florida Yesterday morning. Now in space, the Mars 2020 mission is expected to reach the Red Planet in February 2021.

Everything seemed a picture perfect, but NASA said a couple of glitchy things happened during the launch, none of which is expected to jeopardize the mission.

As the Atlas V sped towards Spatial, telemetric signals sent to ground-based antennas failed to receive incoming data. The spacecraft was apparently too close to NASA’s Deep Space Network – a system of ground-based antennas designed to communicate with deep space – causing signal saturation in ground receivers, which prevented proper data reception of telemetry, according to NASA.

“This is a well-known issue we got with other planetary missions, including at the launch of NASA’s Curiosity rover in 2011,” explained Matt Wallace, deputy project manager for the Mars 2020 mission, at NASA statement. “The Perseverance team worked through prepared mitigation strategies that included removing the receivers and mounting the slightly off-target antennas from the spacecraft to bring the signal into range. We are locking in telemetry after these actions have been taken. ”

Okay, so no big deal, but the second issue, though also not serious, is still working: The spacecraft is currently in safe mode after a temperature anomaly.

The system uses a liquid freon loop, in which heat from the spacecraft’s core is transported to radiators on the cruise stage, the part of the vehicle that leads the rover to Mars. SizeThe temperature difference between the hot inlet to the radiators and the outlet of the radiator cooler led to the precautionary software mode.

“As the spacecraft entered the shadow of Earth, the Sun was temporarily blocked by Earth, and the exit temperature dropped,” Wallace said. “This has caused the gap between the hot water inlet and the outlet of the cooler to increase. This instantly differential triggers an alarm and caused the spacecraft to transition into standby mode known as ‘safe mode’. “

Wallace was told it is a “transitional event,” saying activating a safe mode “during this transitional phase is not problematic for Mars 2020.”

NASA says it has handling over the problem, and mission controllers are now taking the necessary steps to pass the spacecraft back to normal cruise mode.

Phew. Glad these are minor issues. A big blow to the Mars 2020 mission is exactly what we don’t need now.


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