NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance is the end of a seven-month journey from Earth on its way to an attempt to pierce the bottom of an ancient lake where scientists want to find signs of life for fossilized microbes. I’m in a hurry to stretch.
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Patience is the most advanced space biology laboratory that has ever flown to another world, called the Jezero Crater on the edge of the delta of the wreckage carved into the red planet billions of years ago. Headed for a self-guided touchdown in a vast rocky basin.
Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles want to confirm the landing and perhaps receive the first image from Rover as soon as they arrive.
These transmissions are relayed to Earth from one of several satellites already in orbit around Mars.
The reason for creating the Jezero Crater terrain (deeply etched by the long disappearing stream of liquid water) is particularly attractive as a landing site because it is attractive to scientists.
“There are many things scientists want to see, but many things I don’t want to land,” Al Chen, head of the JPL descent and landing team, told reporters Wednesday.
He added that patience is not guaranteed to be a single piece to the destination.
Multistage spacecraft must perform a complex series of self-guided operations completely and quickly to delay descent, avoid countless surface hazards, and gently stand upright on all six wheels.
The seemingly distant sequences include dangerous parachute deployments at supersonic speeds and rocket-propelled “sky cranes.” It disengages from the approach capsule, flies to a safe landing site, lowers the rover with a tether, then plunges and crashes. Safe distance.
The entire process is set up to unfold at exciting intervals that NASA engineers jokingly call “7 minutes of horror.”
NASA scientists describe patience as the most ambitious of nearly 20 US missions to Mars dating back to the 1965 Mariner flyby.
The latest mobile robot probes are larger and packed with more equipment than the four Mars rover in front of them, making the fourth planet from the Sun once warm, moist, and perhaps life-friendly. It is based on the previous discovery.
The main purpose of Perseverance’s two-year $ 2.7 billion effort is to look for signs of microorganisms that may have propagated on Mars about 3 billion years ago, when life appeared on Earth.
Scientists want to find biosignatures embedded in samples of ancient sediments designed by Perseverance to extract from Martian rocks and return to Earth. This is the first specimen that humans have collected from another planet.
Two future missions are planned to collect samples and return them to NASA in the next decade.
The Perseverance payload also includes demonstration projects that could help pave the way for the final human exploration of Mars, such as a device that converts carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mars to pure oxygen. ..
Another experimental prototype onboard Perseverance is a small helicopter designed to test the aircraft’s first powered controlled flight on another planet.
The United States is not the only country fascinated by Mars. Just last week, separate spacecraft launched by the United Arab Emirates and China reached the orbit of Mars.
Watch Live: NASA Rover is about to land on Mars
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