NASA Confirms Mars 2020 Mission Encountered Technical Issues, Entered Safe Mode

WATCH LIVE NASA’s Perseverance rover launch to Mars

Mars 2020 sent its first signal to ground controllers at 9:15 am (1315 GMT) but it was not until 11:30 am (1530 GMT) that it established telemetry - more detailed spacecraft data. A terrain relative navigation system will compare images taken by the spacecraft during its descent to the Martian surface with maps on the spacecraft, and direct the spacecraft accordingly to enable a pinpoint landing.

At 7:50 a.m. from Cape Canaveral, the car-sized rover was spirited away on an Atlas V rocket. The Perseverance rover is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. Mastcam-Z's zoom capability gives researchers a closer look at the terrain without moving the rover, which Mastcam-Z Downlink lead Kristen Paris said will make sample collection faster and easier.

Aung compared Ingenuity to Sojourner, the small rover flown on the Mars Pathfinder lander mission in 1997, paving the way for larger rovers like Perseverance.

"This is a known issue that we have encountered on other planetary missions, including during the launch of NASA's Curiosity rover in 2011", Wallace said. Launch is scheduled for Thursday, July 30.

"I'm super excited about Perseverance because it really represents the first step in bringing back more samples to Earth for the very first time", Wadhwa said.

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is the only space launch provider certified to handle RTGs, the company's president and CEO, Tory Bruno, said during NASA's live broadcast. A couple of the rover's experiments were planned with an eye on crewed missions to Mars.

With all this on board, Perseverance had a successful launch and will hurtle through space until it reaches its destination. "But it was just another challenge we had to overcome". NASA's Perseverance blasted off atop an Atlas V rocket Thursday morning. Ingenuity will capture colour aerial views of the Perseverance exploration site that will help the team scout for the best locations for the rover to explore. Featuring a snake-entwined rod to symbolize healing and medicine, the plaque was attached to the rover in May 2020 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This was the third launch from Earth to Mars this month, following probes sent by the United Arab Emirates and China. To the right of the middle wheel is the plaque that commemorates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once on the surface, Perseverance will scrounge for evidence of past microscopic life in an ancient lakebed, and gather the most promising rock samples for future pickup.

MASTCAM-Z, an advanced camera system with panoramic and stereoscopic imaging capability with the ability to zoom.

Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA), a set of sensors that will provide measurements of temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity and dust size and shape. Created to demonstrate that converting Martian carbon dioxide into oxygen is possible, it could lead to future versions of MOXIE technology that become staples on Mars missions, providing oxygen for rocket fuel and breathable air.

Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC), a spectrometer to detect organic compounds.