The Mars Rover Perseverance Launched. Here’s What Happens Next.

In the wee morning hours on July 30, NASA launched the Mars Rover 2020, named Perseverance, into space with the help of a rocket. It blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, and started its big trip to Mars.

Almost immediately after launch, the mission had a bit of a hiccup: Perseverance went into safe mode and experienced a communications issue.

NASA launched Mars Rover Perseverance into space on July 30, 2020. Source: Facebook/NASA

Here’s What We Know (So Far) About the Mars Rover Perseverance Mission

There’s nothing to worry about regarding the hiccups, according to NASA and Space.com. In fact, the communications issue occurred during the 2011 Mars Rover launch as well.

Watch NASA's Perseverance Rover Launch to Mars!

Was there once life on Mars? Our Perseverance rover aims to find it out! On Thursday, July 30, watch our new robotic astrobiologist launch on a seven-month journey to the Red Planet.Tune in to our live launch broadcast starting at 7 a.m. EDT. Teams are targeting 7:50 a.m. EDT for liftoff of Perseverance atop United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Don’t forget to set a reminder to join us in the #CountdownToMars – you won’t want to miss this historic mission take flight!Learn more about the mission: https://www.nasa.gov/perseverance

Posted by NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Thursday, July 30, 2020

So why is Perseverance in “safe mode”? It was an issue of temperature. The cooling systems in the rover were colder than expected, because Perseverance was in the shadow of the earth. Once the rover continued on its trip and made its way into sunlight, the temperature regulated. In other words: issue fixed.

As for the communications issue, an identical problem happened in 2011 with the rover Curiosity. NASA and the Perseverance teams communicates through the Deep Space Network, which is consists of a bunch of antennas. When they tried to communicate with the rover shortly after launch, the spacecraft was still too close. So they got an earful of noise instead! Luckily, this was an easy fix too: just a simple adjustment to the network settings.

So, even though the Mars Rover spacecraft experienced a couple hiccups, according to NASA, the mission is still right on track. If everything else goes according to plan, the spacecraft will travel 300 million miles over the course of the next seven months.

Next stop: Mars, where Perseverance will be used to collect rock samples and look for any evidence of life.

In the meantime, kids can color these Mars 2020 Rover Perseverance printables.

Meet the Students Who Named Mars Perseverance and Ingenuity

Did you know NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover and the first NASA Mars helicopter were both named by students?After sorting through more than 28,000 submissions, the names were chosen by a panel of judges. Perseverance and Ingenuity represent qualities that humans need to explore space. Meet the students behind their names: https://youtu.be/jJG14ZtoNh4 #CountdownToMars

Posted by NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Thursday, July 30, 2020
  • As we gear up for the launch of Perseverance, we can learn a little about the most famous Mars rover of all time: Curiosity! Check out this gorgeous book that tells the story of a Mars rover.

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