The New Horizons spacecraft is still on track for its historic July 14 flyby of Pluto despite experiencing a technical glitch Saturday.
In a statement released Sunday NASA said that New Horizons will resume normal science operations Tuesday after the July 4 “anomaly” caused it to enter “safe mode.”
An investigation found no hardware or software faults on the spacecraft. “The underlying cause of the incident was a hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence that occurred during an operation to prepare for the close flyby,” NASA explained, in its statement. “No similar operations are planned for the remainder of the Pluto encounter.”
New Horizons is now on Pluto’s doorstep following an incredible journey of nine years and 3 billion miles. On July 14 the spacecraft will make its closest approach to Pluto, flying within 7,750 miles, inside the orbits of Pluto's five known moons.
"I'm pleased that our mission team quickly identified the problem and assured the health of the spacecraft," said Jim Green, NASA's Director of Planetary Science, in the statement. "Now - with Pluto in our sights - we're on the verge of returning to normal operations and going for the gold."
New Horizons' $700 million mission began with a 2006 launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.