NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover completes its main mission to the Red Planet.
car size perseverance explorer It landed on the floor of Mars’ Jezero Crater in February. September 18, 2021 launches an ambitious surface mission designed to last a Red Planet year, which is approximately 687 Earth days.
Then it is full; the Anthem The calendar turned for Perseverance on Friday, January 6th. But don’t worry: The six-wheeled robot will seamlessly transition into an extended mission on Saturday, January 7th.
Related: 12 stunning photos from the Perseverance rover from the 1st Earth year on Mars
Perseverance has two main missions on the Red Planet. The rover hunts for possible signs Martian life at the base of a 28-mile (45-kilometer) wide lake that was home to a large lake and a river delta billions of years ago. Perseverance also collects and caches dozens of samples that the joint NASA-European Space Agency (ESA) campaign will do. bring it to Earth for detailed study in the early 2030s if all goes as planned.
This campaign will launch an ESA Earth-return orbiter alongside a NASA lander that launches rockets to the Red Planet in the mid-to-late 2020s. The plan requires Perseverance to take samples to the landing craft; The rocket will then launch the precious cargo into Mars orbit, where the ESA probe will grab it and pull the material back to Earth.
Perseverance has made a lot of progress so far on the sampling front. The rover is already full and sealed 18 out of 38 titanium sampling tubes (opens in new tab) as well as three of the five “witness tubes” that will help mission team members assess the cleanliness of Perseverance’s sampling system.
And the rover started caching samples as well until the drop date. four of the 10 planned tubes It’s on Jezero’s floor in a patch that the mission team calls Three Forks. This tank is a backup to cover the possibility that Perseverance may not be able to carry samples to the landing craft when the time comes. (The vehicle is currently in good condition, but there is no guarantee its health will last until the end of the decade.)
In this case, the two small helicopters that will board the landing craft will take the sample tubes one by one from the warehouse.
With this fence in mind, the mission team collects two samples of each of the target rocks. Perseverance is keeping one set on board and caching the other set.
Fetch helicopters will largely rely on it creativityA 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) helicopter traveling to Mars with Perseverance.
Ingenuity’s main job was to show that aerial exploration is possible on Mars, despite all the speed of the planet. thin atmosphere, is only 1% of Earth’s density at sea level. The small rotorcraft quickly achieved this goal during a five-flight demonstration campaign and now serves as a reconnaissance officer on an ambitious extended mission for Perseverance.
Ingenuity now has 37 flights that have traveled a total of 7.6 kilometers together. Perseverance, for its part, has accelerated about 8.7 miles (14.0 km) of extraterrestrial travel, and that total will climb significantly during its extended mission.
After Perseverance finishes dropping samples at the Three Forks warehouse, it will head to the top of Jezero’s old river delta, likely finishing the climb in February. The rover will then explore the area over the next eight months, looking for rocks that, among other things, were dragged into the crater by the ancient river of Jezero.
“The Delta Best Campaign is our opportunity to take a look at the geological process beyond the walls of Jezero Crater,” said Perseverance project associate scientist Katie Stack Morgan of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. last month’s statement (opens in new tab).
“Billions of years ago, a raging river carried debris and boulders miles beyond the walls of Jezero,” he said. “We will explore these ancient river deposits and take samples from long-traveled rocks and boulders.”
Mike Wall”Outside (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or he Facebook (opens in new tab).
Leave a Comment