NASA’s Perseverance rover bound for Mars to seek ancient life

NASA’s Perseverance rover bound for Mars to seek ancient life

NASA’s Perseverance rover bound for Mars to seek ancient life

"There would be no bigger discovery in the history of humanity than finding life that is not on our own world", NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said. How do we get to it?

On Thursday morning, NASA will launch a historic mission to Mars. Among the list of countries who signed up for the Mars mission.

The ULA Atlas V's Centaur upper stage initially placed the Mars 2020 spacecraft into a parking orbit around Earth.

"That's perfectly fine, the spacecraft is happy there", he said. The spacecraft was apparently too close to NASA's Deep Space Network - a system of ground-based antennas created to communicate to deep space - causing a signal saturation at the ground receivers, which prevented proper receipt of the telemetry data, according to NASA. However, telemetry (more detailed spacecraft data) had not yet been acquired at that point.

The second issue, Wallace said, was a transient event involving temperature on the spacecraft. All temperatures are now nominal and the spacecraft is out of Earth's shadow.

NASA says it has a handle on the problem, and mission controllers are now performing the requisite steps to transition the spacecraft back into normal cruise mode. Right now though, it's been put into 'safe mode, ' with all but the essential systems of the spacecraft shut down, after it ran into technical trouble after launch.

The mission - created to better understand the geology and climate of Mars and seek signs of ancient life on the Red Planet - will use the robotic scientist to collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth by future Mars sample return missions.

"Jezero Crater is the flawless place to search for signs of ancient life", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in a press release. A NASA-provided payload on the orbiter would provide the capabilities needed to capture and contain the samples, placing them in an Earth entry vehicle that would land the samples safely on US soil.

The Martian rock and dust Perseverance's Sample Caching System collects could answer fundamental questions about the potential for life to exist beyond Earth.

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