Juno, NASA spacecraft, went into safe mode on Tuesday creating a delay for its mission on Jupiter.
The onboard computer rebooted after the software performance monitor of the spacecraft started acting up. NASA reported that after the spacecraft rebooted, it successful restarted and turned into safe mode.
Rick Nybakken, NASA project manager, said that the spacecraft is 13 hours away before it becomes close enough to Jupiter when the event happened. He also explained that during this time the space craft is still far from Jupiter's radiation belt.
He said that the spacecraft is designed to turn into safe mode once unexpected disturbances happen. He also said that during safe mode on board instruments and non-critical components of the spacecraft are turned off.
The Verge reported that the delay isn't really a bad news because the original plan is to really turn off the instruments on October 19 to avoid disturbance as the engines burn. There was no scheduled burn when the event happened, therefore they left the engine on.
Scott Bolton from Southwest Research Institute explained that the mission is flexible, people don't have to worry about the delay. He also remembered the data that they collected on August 27, their first flyby the planet.
"It was a revelation and we anticipated that the next flyby will be no different," he explained.
NASA explained that since July 4, Juno has been in the planet's orbit. They explained that the orbit is meant to safeguard the spacecraft from the planet's radiation.
They explained that Juno is supposed to orbit Jupiter for 14 days. However, Nybakken and his team are nervous about this because the spacecraft didn't work as planned.
They hope to figure out the problem in 53 days. After that, they believe that Juno can make a perijove pass, which happens when a spacecraft passes through the planet for a few hours.
The next flyby will happen on December 11, 2016, before the year ends.