Science

NASA Is About To Land A Historic Rover On Mars

NASA Is About To Land A Historic Rover On Mars”

It will also be the first rover to touch down on Mars since the Curiosity rover landing in 2012.

After almost 470 million kilometers, NASA's Perseverance rover will complete its journey to Mars on February 18, 2021, with the goal of searching for traces of past life in Crater Lake. The mission has been built from numerous experiences from previous missions in the past.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate says "NASA has been exploring Mars since Mariner 4 performed a flyby in July of 1965, with two more flybys, seven successful orbiters, and eight landers since then".

According to NASA Perseverance only has about 25.6 million miles available for its 292.5 million-mile journey from Earth to Mars. Once it arrives at the red planet, the seven minutes of terror begins.

In a period of approximately " seven minutes of terror, " as NASA defines this type of maneuver, the spacecraft slows from about 19,500 kilometers per hour in the upper part of the Martian atmosphere to almost 3 kilometers per hour landing time. She also is on the rover camera team that will be the scientific eyes for Perseverance.

The ground teams notify the spacecraft when to initiate EDL (entry, descent, and landing), and the vehicle takes over from there.

In this illustration, NASA's Perseverance rover explores Mars', Jezero Crater.

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As Allen Chen, landing lead at JPL notes, "It is no exaggeration to say that this is the most critical and risky part of the mission".

"Don't let anybody tell you different - landing on Mars is hard to do", said John McNamee, project manager for the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission at JPL.

Astrobiology is a key goal of Perseverance's mission on Mars, including the pursuit of ancient microbial life indications.

It is the first rover to bring a sample caching system to Mars that will package promising samples for return to Earth by a future mission.

The Mars 2020 mission belongs to a larger program involving missions to the Moon to introduce the Red Planet's human exploration.

Future applications of the technology could produce the vast quantities of oxygen that would be needed as a component of the rocket fuel astronauts would rely on to return to Earth, and, of course, the oxygen could be used for breathing as well.

JPL, which Caltech manages for NASA in Pasadena, California, built and handles the Perseverance rover operations.



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