NASA had a taste of sci-fi excitement this week as its Mars orbiter was forced to dodge one of the planet's small moons.
The US space agency fired up MAVEN’s engine on Thursday so that it would miss the Martian moon Phobos by 2.5 minutes.
The spacecraft, which studies the red planet’s vanishing atmosphere, boosted up its speed to skirt by the potato-shaped moon safely.
The new command has also made sure that MAVEN stays clear of other spacecraft orbiting Mars.
MAVEN flies only 3,700 kilometers above the planet’s surface and sees Phobos pass by 3 times a day.
Evasive maneuvers like this are very rare, but controllers should always monitor such cases to avoid trouble.