NASA’s Mars Mission 2020

NewsBlogRead Mars rover Perseverance went into safe mode shortly after launch
By Brendyn Lotz

In the first few hours after liftoff, retrieving precise location and positioning data from the spacecraft was hampered in a brief "communications issue", NASA officials said, involving the agency's global network of antennas used to communicate with its most distant probes. Right now, the Mars 2020 mission is completing a full health assessment on the spacecraft and is working to return the spacecraft to a nominal configuration for its journey to Mars.

The mission uses a liquid freon loop to bring heat from the centre of the spacecraft to radiators on the cruise stage - the part that helps fly the rover to Mars - which have a view to space.

The primary goal of the mission is to answer one of the key questions of astrobiology: Are there potential signs of past microbial life, or biosignatures on the Red Planet?

Among the many high-tech tools on board the Perseverance, the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, or MOXIE, is created to prove that it is in fact possible to convert Martian carbon dioxide into oxygen. 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. Perseverance also has a helicopter testing the possibility of flight on Mars, which has far less atmospheric pressure than Earth. Over 31 Earth days, the helicopter will undertake up to five flights on Mars. Landing is a tense process, but if all goes well, Perseverance will join Curiosity as NASA's only functioning rovers on Mars. "In the same way, the descendants of Ingenuity and MOXIE will become valuable tools for future explorers to the Red Planet and beyond".

Flight controllers for NASAs Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission have returned the spacecraft to nominal flight operations, the U.S. space agency has said. "About 290 million miles of them". We are going to Jezero Crater.

It is expected to land on the planet on February 18, 2021.

The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA's Moon to Mars exploration program and the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will oversee operations of the rover.