Only a few days remain for the next Mars spacecraft to land on NASA.
The persevering rover is the size of a vehicle, and is a cornerstone of NASA’s $ 2.7 billion March 2020 mission, Will search for signs of ancient life, collect and buffer samples for future return to Earth and help demonstrate a variety of new exploration techniques, among other missions.
But before you begin any of this pioneering work, you must be persistent as you land inside Mars. Crater Lake On February 18th. There is no guarantee that the rover will survive this dreadful ordeal. Over the years, only 40% of all Mars surface missions have successfully landed.
This disappointing number is skewed by many failures in the first few decades of the Space Age. NASA’s recent red planet track record is very encouraging (wood knock), and March 2020 will use a proven landing strategy – the “sky crane” technology successfully used by its predecessor, Curiosity wandering, Which landed in August 2012 and is still active today.
Here’s a brief summary of the March 2020 mission and the upcoming EDLs and entrances to get you ready for the big day.
The Mars Book: $ 22.99 at Magazines Direct
Explore the secrets of Mars in 148 pages. With the latest generation of rovers, landers and orbits heading to the red planet, we are discovering more of this world’s secrets than ever before. Explore its landscapes and composition, discover the truth about water on Mars and the search for life, and explore the possibility that the fourth rock from the sun will someday be our next home.View the deal
What is the mission to persevere for the Mars rover?
Curiosity assessed the habitability of ancient Mars and investigated the planet’s long-running transition from relatively warm and humid to extremely cold and dry. The March 2020 mission, launched on July 30, 2020, will take the next step, as it actively searches for signs of the life of the ancient red planet. No surface mission has ever done this, although NASA’s twin Viking probe searched for the remaining Martian life after their landing in 1976.
Perseverance will also help fetch Chasing the life of Mars down to earth. The rover will collect and store dozens of samples, which will be transported by a joint campaign between NASA and the European Space Agency to our planet. In early 2031. Once pure Mars material reaches Earth, scientists in laboratories around the world can examine it using equipment much more powerful and accurate than a single vehicle can carry to the red planet.
March 2020 also has a big tech show element. For example, A. A small helicopter called Creativity Fly to the red planet on the belly of perseverance. In the early days of the Mars 2020 mission, which is set to last at least one Martian year (about 687 Earth days), Ingenuity will make some test flights, in an effort to become the first rotary plane ever to fly in an extraterrestrial world. NASA officials say the success could open up Mars for large-scale aerial explorations in the future.
2,260 lbs. (1,025 kg) Perseverance also carries a tool called MOXIE, which is an acronym for “Experimenting with the use of Mars’ oxygen resources in situ.” (ISRU stands for “Site Resource Use”). MOXIE will produce oxygen from Mars’ thin atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide, and will showcase technology that, if scaled up, could help humanity gain a foothold on the red planet, NASA officials said.
You can learn more about perseverance and its scientific goals on our website Reference page for March 2020.
Where is the decline of perseverance?
NASA announced in November 2018 that perseverance would explore Jezero Crater, a 28-mile (45 km) wide crater in Earth 18 degrees north of Mars’ equator.
More than 3.5 billion years ago, Jezero Island hosted a lake the size of Lake Tahoe, as well as an associated river delta. NASA’s Mars Exploration Orbiter detected clay minerals forming in the presence of liquid water on the crater floor.
“On Earth, scientists found such clays in the Mississippi River Delta, where microbial life was found embedded in the rock itself,” agency officials wrote in a press release. Description of Jezero. “This makes Jezero Crater a great place to fulfill the science goal of the Mars 2020 mission to study a habitable environment that may still retain signs of past lives.”
And in case you were wondering (or contemplating): There will be no encounter between perseverance and curiosity. Jezero is about 2,300 miles (3,700 km) from Gale Crater, which Curiosity has been exploring since 2012.
How and when will perseverance fall?
Speaking of curiosity: The Old Mission modeled March 2020 in several ways. The body of persistence is very similar to that of Curiosity, for example, and the two missions share the same dramatic “seven minutes of terror” strategy for EDL.
As Mars 2020 approaches the red planet on the afternoon of February 18th, the spacecraft will throw off the “cruise stage,” the part that includes the solar panels, fuel tanks and radios needed for its long interplanetary voyage. Ten minutes after this milestone, March 2020 will hit the red planet’s atmosphere at nearly 12,500 miles per hour (20,000 kilometers per hour), and a horror countdown clock will start to appear.
Although the Martian atmosphere is only 1% thick as the Earth’s mantle, it is large enough to drastically slow the march of Mars 2020 by clouds but this service has a cost: frictional heating, which will generate temperatures of 2,370 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 ° C) on the surface of the spacecraft heat shield. Perseverance itself would not, of course, face such extremes; It will be about room temperature inside the protective antenna in March 2020, which consists of a heat shield and a piece called the back cover.
March 2020 will deploy its 70.5-foot (21.5 m) supersonic parachute approximately four minutes after entering the atmosphere, when the spacecraft slows down to a controllable 940 mph (1,512 km / h). To get exactly the right deployment timing, March 2020 will use a new technology called Range Trigger, which Curiosity didn’t have.
Twenty seconds after the appearance of the supersonic sleigh, March 2020 will shed its heat shield, exposing the perseverance of the rapidly erupting Red Planet air. The spacecraft will then begin documenting its descent in great detail, taking pictures of the Martian surface and using radar to find out its altitude.
These images will be used by another new technology that will be shown in March 2020 – Relative terrain navigation, Which includes comparing pedigree images to an on-board map.
NASA officials wrote in A. The members of the expedition team have pre-mapped the safest areas in the landing zone. A detailed summary of the March 2020 EDL sequence. “If perseverance can see that it is heading toward more dangerous terrain, it picks the safest place it can get to and prepares for the next dramatic step.”
The parachute will slow the March 2020 rally to around 200 mph (320 km / h) – still too fast for a safe landing. So, after about six minutes of seven minutes of terror, at 6,900 feet (2,100 meters), the rear projectile and its parachute will fall, and the mission’s “sky crane” descent stage will begin.
The eight thrusts of the sky crane will shoot downward, ultimately slowing Mars 2020 to 1.7 mph (2.7 km / h). Then, at 65 feet (20 meters), the crane will lower the persistence toward the ground on the long cables. After the rover has landed safely, the cables will be cut, and the landing stage will start to deliberately land at a safe distance away.
That landing will happen at 3:55 PM EST (1855 GMT) on February 18th, if all goes according to plan.
Yes, that sounds a little crazy, especially considering that March 2020 will have to do everything on his own, without any help from mission control. (On February 18, it would take more than 11 minutes for the signal to travel from Earth to Mars – longer than the entire EDL sequence.) But it worked with Curiosity in 2012.
And we’ll be able to follow all EDL events in real time: NASA will provide coverage of the major event, starting at 2:15 PM EST (1715 GMT) on February 18th. You can watch it Live here at Space.comCourtesy of NASA, or Directly via the space agency.
And in the steepest days after a successful landing (knocking wood again), we can get an unprecedented remedy – high-quality video and audio for the March 2020 landing sequence, thanks to HD EDL cameras and Linked microphone.
Visit Space.com on February 18 For complete coverage of the Mars Lander Tenacity.
Mike Wall is the author ofAbroad“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; drawing by Karl Tate), a book on the search for an alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.