"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.
When a vessel enters safe mode, it shuts down all but essential systems until it receives new commands from mission control.
The spacecraft also experienced a delay in setting up its communications link with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, its mission control. Now in space, the Mars 2020 mission is expected to reach the Red Planet in February 2021.
"As the spacecraft entered into Earth's shadow, the Sun was temporarily blocked by Earth, and the outlet temperature dropped", said Wallace.
The Perseverance team, he said, worked through prepared mitigation strategies that included detuning the receivers and pointing the antennas slightly off-target from the spacecraft to bring the signal within an acceptable range.
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The first single to the ground controller was sent at 9:15 am (1315 GMT ) by Mars 2020 but it was not until 11:30 am (1530 GMT) that it established telemetry that is a more detailed spacecraft data. The rover is officially on its way to Jezero Crater on Mars. 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.
About seven cold, dark, unforgiving months of interplanetary space travel lay ahead for the mission - a fact never far from the mind of Mars 2020 project team."There is still a lot of road between us and Mars", said John McNamee, Mars 2020 project manager at JPL.
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? "Scientists have wanted a sample of Mars to study for generations". Landing is a tense process, but if all goes well, Perseverance will join Curiosity as NASA's only functioning rovers on Mars. We are going to Jezero Crater.
Charged with returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, NASA aims to establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through the agency's Artemis programme. NASA's Launch Services Program, based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management, and ULA provided the Atlas V rocket.