The persistence of spacecraft navigation goes into ‘safe mode’ after glitches, but NASA says there is no need to worry


Mars 2020 mission launch, with the Rover firmly on board.

Mars 2020 Mission Launch, with the Rover firmly on board.
The image: NASA / Joel Kovski

This is true that the year is 2020, tomorrow NASA’s persistence Mars launch The rover was not without problems.

As scheduled, carrying a Glee Atlas V rocket Firmness Rover and Simplicity Helicopter lifted off From Cape Canaveral Air Force.S.Station in florida Tomorrow morning. Now in space, the Mars 2020 mission is expected to reach the red planet in February 2021.

Everything seemed picture Perfect, but NASA said Some foul things happened during the launch, neither of which is expected to jeopardize the mission.

As is atlas v Space, telemetry signals failed to receive data sent to ground-based antennas. The spacecraft was obviously Very close to NASA’s Deep Space Network – a system of ground-based antennas designed to transmit to deep space – leading to signal saturation at ground receivers, which according to NASA would have prevented proper receipt of telemetry data is.

Matt Wallace, deputy project manager of the Mars 2020 mission at NASA, has faced missions to other planets, including during the launch of NASA’s Curiosity Rover in 2011, a known issue. Statement. “The persistence team worked through devised mitigation strategies, including isolating the receivers and pointing the target slightly to the antennas from the spacecraft to bring the signal within acceptable limits. We are now locking telemetry after doing these operations. ”

Okay, so that’s not a big deal, but the second issue, though not too serious, is still a work in progress: the spacecraft is currently in safe mode after a temperature anomaly.

The system uses a liquid freeon loop, in which heat is transported from the core of the spacecraft to the radiators on the cruise stage, the part of the vehicle transporting the rover to Mars. A sizeThe temperature difference between the hot inlet for radiators and the cooler outlet from radiators led to precautionary software modes.

“As the spacecraft entered the Earth’s shadow, the Sun was temporarily blocked by the Earth, and the outlet temperature dropped,” Wallace said. “This widened the gap between the hot inlet and the cooler outlet. This transient difference attempted an alarm and caused the spacecraft to transition to standby mode known as ‘safe mode’.

Called a “transient event”, Wallace said that triggering of safe mode “is not problematic for Mars 2020 during this transitional phase.”

NASA says it has control over the problem, and mission controllers are now taking the necessary steps to move the spacecraft back to cruise mode.

Oh, is that so. Glad that these are minor issues. A major setback for the Mars 2020 mission is exactly what we don’t need right now.

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