NASA Mars Perseverance Rover: What to expect on landing day

Mars 2020-sky-crane

NASA will use a “sky crane” to stay afloat on the surface of Mars.


When it comes to space phenomena, few things are as exciting as landing a vehicle on another planet. It’s tense. It’s exciting. It is a stakes high. On February 18, NASA’s Perseverance rover aims to stick to landing on Mars, ushering in a new era in red planet exploration.

While NASA has a lot of experience delivering machines to Mars (looking at you here, Curiosity And Insight), Which will not make it easier this time. “Landing on Mars is difficult,” NASA said. “Only about 40% of the missions sent to Mars by any space agency have been successful.”

It will be a wild ride. Here’s what to expect on Perseus’s landing day.

How to watch

NASA will provide live coverage of the landing. NASA TV broadcasts from Mission Control on Thursday, February 18 at 11:15 p.m. Touch down in Jezero Crater on Mars is scheduled for around 12:30 p.m.

This will not be like a rocket launch where we have to look at every detail as it happened. We’ve got NASA commentary and updates, mission control footage and hopefully some images won’t get too long after landing. It will be a must-see event for fans of the space.

Echoes strength

We’ve been to Mars before. So why all the hype? The red planet is the neighbor of our solar system. It is as rocky as the earth. It has a long history of water. We can imagine that we will be there one day.

“The level of interest people have on this planet is just phenomenal,” Alice Gormman, a space archaeologist and associate professor at Flinders University in Australia, told CNET. Gorman sheds light on humanity’s quest for life outside of Earth and how Mars is a candidate for hosting microbial life in its ancient past.

There is also something special about the rover, which is a mechanical animal with wheels with “head” and “eyes”. “People look to Rovers because they’re active and they move on,” Gorman said, almost comparing him to the sense of parental connection. Of flowing Feelings at the demise of NASA’s Opportunity Rover Proves how connected humans can find a Mars explorer. Drata is about to become our new Martian darling.

Seven minutes of terror

The arrival of Mars is always difficult. NASA calls the process “EDL” for “entry, origin and landing”.

“During the landing, the rover sinks into a thin meteor atmosphere, with the first heat shield, at a speed of 12,000 miles per hour (about 20,000 kilometers),” NASA said in a landing agreement. There is a reason why NASA describes the landing process as “seven minutes of terror.”

This NASA graphic shows the entire entry, descent and landing (EDL) sequence.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Small thrusters will taste the fire from the atmosphere to keep the rover on track on a potential bumpy ride. The rover’s protective heat shield helps slow it down. At an altitude of about 7 miles (11 kilometers), a Supersonic parachute Will deploy and diligently detach from its heat shield as soon as possible.

NASA gave a briefing on January 27 Detailed rundown on the full EDL sequenceIncluding the “Sky Crane” maneuver, which reduces the final distance to the surface of the rover using a set of cables.

If all goes well, the effort will be completed by standing on the surface of Mars. “The really hard part is not the soft ground and crash ground, and then deploying the moving parts,” Gorman said. Dr Pers Ta is not alone in the journey. He also carries a helicopter called Chaturya in his stomach. Ingenuity will be released later in the mission.

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Landing experience

The mission is equipped with cameras and microphones designed to capture the EDL process, so we can both expect to see and hear the excitement of landing at some point. “It will be the raw sounds of descent and will come to the surface,” Gorman said. “So it’s a whole other level of sensory connection.”

Sending data between Mars and Earth takes time. To get back home, we can expect a photo not too long after landing, but it may take NASA a few days to share the full visual and audio Dio experience with the world.

The agency released an arrival trailer in December showing an animated, speed-up version of the process. You will get an idea of ​​how wild it is for a rover to land on another planet.

Gozman is excited to get a visual of the rover’s landing spot in the Jezero Crater. It will be our first close look at the area’s landscape with a history of water. Surely he hopes to explore history and find evidence of life.

While photos, sound, helicopters and surrounding science will be the reasons for the celebration, there is a big lingering question that can answer this mission: Was Mars the lifeblood of microbes? “It would be really nice if we could get a little closer control over whether we once lived on Mars or not,” Gorman said.

Our greatest hope is in the search for signs of life beyond the earth. It all starts sticking to the landing.

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