March 2020: Persevering for an imminent Mars landing, what you need to know about the mission


Update 8:20 pm. For English speakers, besides CNES’s live broadcast, live coverage of the Mars landing is broadcast on NASA’s YouTube channel from 8:15 pm. Like the experts wanted by the CNES, NASA experts will comment on the stage of entry into the Martian atmosphere, descent and descent of the persistence and we should have pictures of the mission control center. The first images of Mars are expected to arrive a few minutes after the landing.

Update 8:00 pm – The Mars landings can be watched live on CNES. If all goes as expected, landing in Jizero Crater is scheduled for around 9:30 PM. For French speakers, we recommend watching the live broadcast from the channel The French National Center for Space Studies, because the intervention of many experts is planned to shed light on the progress of the maneuver and the participation of the French scientific and technical community in this project.

Update 02/18 – To get you in the mood before this awesome space exploration meeting you can follow live from 7:45 pm in France, you can Discover animation The European Space Agency (ESA) was carried out from the Jezero crater. In this region of Mars, which was once a gigantic lake, perseverance will land. Perfect place To look for signs of ancient microbial life.

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NASA The sequence in which the capsule carrying the Perseverance Chariot will enter the Martian atmosphere in order to deposit its precious cargo somewhere in
Jizero Hole. This amazing landing will take place on Thursday, February 18th, after six months of perseverance
He left the earth To reach the red planet. For the first time, this stage of entering the atmosphere of Mars, descent and descent (EDL:
Entry, disembarkation and landing) By using on-board cameras and microphones.

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Despite her extensive experience with the Mars missions, NASA remembers this
Landing on Mars is difficult” And the ” Only about 40% of missions sent to Mars, by any space agency, have been successful. Here’s everything you need to know about this exceptional event.

Hold on to land on Mars as if you were there

This evening we should have a unique experience of this EDL sequence (Entry, disembarkation and landingThanks to the ship’s cameras and microphones, which will allow us to see and hear everything that is happening. However, this will not happen in real time. It takes time for this data to travel from Mars to Earth, and it may take a few days before NASA shares these sights and sounds. The video animation below gives a detailed look at how to operate an EDL sequence.

Was there life on Mars?

With persistence, NASA will try to answer the big question: Was there life on Mars? In fact, the dry and dusty planet we know today looked very different in the distant past. The spacecraft will land in a region of Mars that once housed a lake, which is an ideal place to search for traces of ancient microbes.

Perseverance won’t just take great shots of the red planet. Here are some of his goals:

  • Look for signs of ancient microbial life;
  • Collect samples of rocks and dust to later return to Earth;
  • Take down an experimental helicopter;
  • Study of the climate and geology of Mars.
  • Demonstrate technology for future missions to Mars.
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The perseverance mission is expected to last at least one Martian year, which translates to approximately 687 Earth days. However, the previous opportunity Rover and
Curiosity of It remained in service after the expected timeframe.

Perseverance Technical Sheet

Although it is very close to its predecessor Curiosity of In terms of overall design, perseverance benefits from many technological advances not present at the time.

  • Length: 3 meters
  • Weight: 1.025 kg
  • Six aluminum wheels with titanium rods
  • Top speed: just under 152 meters per hour

Perseverance also has seven measuring instruments on board that will aid it in its mission:

Mastecam-Z This rover mast’s camera system will have eyesight. Its main function is to “capture high-definition videos, full-color 3D panoramic images of the Martian surface and elements in the atmosphere with a zoom to magnify distant targets.” Thanks to your mastcam we will all be enjoying amazing mars photos.

Moxie One way that perseverance will help prepare for the first human mission to Mars is to experiment with using Mars’ oxygen resources in situ. This instrument is designed to produce oxygen from carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere. Not only would this be necessary for future human explorers, but it would also allow for on-site manufacture of fuel for rockets that would bring astronauts back to Earth.

SuperCam : When you combine a camera, a laser, and a spectrophotometer, you get the SuperCam, a tool that searches for organic compounds and is a key ingredient in looking for signs of past microbial life. “It can determine the chemical and mineralogical composition of targets as small as a pencil point over 7 meters away,” NASA said in detail about the SuperCam.

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Sherlock : “Surveying Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence of Organic Materials and Chemicals” or Sherloc, they will have a mission to look for signs of life on the Red Planet. The instrument and accompanying camera (a.k.a. Watson) can capture and analyze microscopic images of Martian soil. Sherlock is equipped with a laser device that can point to the surface to measure chemical components in soil and rocks using a technology called spectroscopy.

A helicopter will fly over Mars

Underneath the belly of persistence is creativity, a tiny helicopter designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the red planet. It will stay stored this way for a few months, while the rover arrives at a convenient location for its deployment. A mechanism will then allow it to be placed on the ground before it will persistently move away until it can take off. It would be a great first technology paving the way for a new paradigm for exploration of extraterrestrials.

For more

Image: NASA

CNET.com article adapted from CNETFrance

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