"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.
NASA's Perseverance rover is on its way to Mars and on February 18, 2021, it is scheduled to land on the red planet's Jezero Crater.
"As the spacecraft entered into Earth's shadow, the Sun was temporarily blocked by Earth, and the outlet temperature dropped", said Wallace.
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 problem, the agency says, was triggered when parts of the spacecraft became too cold in the Earth's shadow, and safe mode kicked in.
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The next-generation robotic rover - a car-sized, six-wheeled vehicle carrying seven scientific instruments - is also scheduled to deploy a mini-helicopter on Mars and try out equipment for future human missions there.
Scientists have long debated whether Mars - once a much more hospitable place than it is today - ever harboured life.
Among the many high-tech tools on board the Perseverance, the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, or MOXIE, is created to prove that it is in fact possible to convert Martian carbon dioxide into oxygen. And given the difficulty of this multi-pronged return journey of the samples, they won't land on Earth until 2031, at the earliest.
As now envisioned, the lander launches in 2026 and arrives at Mars in 2028, touching down close to the Mars 2020 rover near Jezero Crater.
"Perseverance is the most capable rover in history because it is standing on the shoulders of our pioneers Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity", said Michael Watkins, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. We are going to Jezero Crater. 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.