NASA’s Mars-Bound Spaceship Carrying Perseverance Rover Faces Technical Issues

Filipinos top signup for NASA's 'Send Your Name to Mars'

Data indicate the spacecraft had entered a state known as safe mode, likely because a part of the spacecraft was a little colder than expected while Mars 2020 was in Earth's shadow.

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Humanity's most sophisticated rover launched with the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at 750 am EDT (450 am PDT) Thursday on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The craft is now said to have returned to its regular temperature, but safe mode has affected communications between the spacecraft and ground control, Business Insider reports.

With more than one million name submissions, the Philippines has emerged as the leading country with the most number of signups for the "Send Your Name to Mars" program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Perseverance is due to land at the base of an 820-foot-deep (250 meters) crater called Jezero, site of a former lake and water system from 3.5 billion years ago that scientists suspect could bear evidence of potential past microbial life.

Coronavirus infected hundreds of children at U.S. summer camp
Campers engaged in "a variety of indoor and outdoor activities", including "daily vigorous singing and cheering", they said. Campers were a median age of 12, and 53% were girls, while staff members were a median age of 17, and 59% were girls.

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.

Scientists have long debated whether Mars - once a much more hospitable place than it is today - ever harbored life. 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 Mars Perseverance rover only has a short window of opportunity, and that was nearly missed due to the pandemic.

Over 30 sols (31 Earth days), the helicopter will attempt up to five powered, controlled flights.

Also attached to the spacecraft's belly is the Mars Ingenuity Helicopter, perhaps the first helicopter to fly on any planet other than the Earth. "Next stop, 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.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and will manage operations of the Mars Perseverance rover.

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