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Home / Science / NASA Introduces Another Mars Rover: Everything You Need to Know About Perseverance

NASA Introduces Another Mars Rover: Everything You Need to Know About Perseverance

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying a Mars rover takes off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

This story is part of it Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

July was a particularly stressful month for Mars robot researchers. UAE disappointing probes July 19 left Earth for the red planet and China’s Tianwen-1, which has three robots, followed shortly thereafter. Now it’s NASA’s turn. On Thursday she flawlessly launched two robot explorers to the red planet: other gen. rover, known as perseverance, and a helicopter known as Ingenuity.

Ingenuity is a technical demonstration aimed at being the first vehicle to reach an engine flight on another planet. Perseverance has a bigger, bolder mission – it can forever change our understanding of space. It will be a hunt for signs of former life on the red planet.

The dry, dusty Mars we know today was very different in the deep past. The latest rover of humanity has drawn an area of ​​the territory of Mars that was once near the lake, which is a great place to look for signs of ancient microbes.

Since Sojourner in 1997. NASA has sent a series of increasingly sophisticated wheeled explorers to Mars. Perseverance is the last and greatest, and in 2020. July. He embarked on his epic journey through space.

On a mission

Perseverance will do much more than capture the stunning images of Mars. These are some of the main goals of the mission:

  • Look for signs of ancient microbial life.
  • Collect samples of Mars rocks and dust so you can return to Earth later.
  • Introduce an experimental helicopter.
  • Study the climate and geology of Mars.
  • Showcase the technologies for future Mars missions.

The mission is planned to last at least one year on Mars, which on Earth takes about 687 days (Mars takes longer around the sun). However, NASA has achieved good results in extending its robotic Martian missions. We can look at a long-standing example of opportunity and curiosity.

Hello, Mars

NASA has conducted extensive testing of a parachute system that will reduce the persistence of Mars.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Rover’s arrival on Mars is scheduled for 2021. February 18 The landing process will involve some of the most brutal minutes of the entire mission.

Perseverance will allow us to test the new method, which NASA hopes to deliver as close as possible to the target landing site. NASA calls it the “distance trigger” technique, and it’s all about deploying parachutes at just the right time.

“If the spacecraft wanted to exceed the landing target, the parachute would be deployed earlier,” NASA said. “If it didn’t hit the target, the parachute would be deployed later, after the spacecraft flew a little closer to its target.”

Earth observers can expect an unprecedented entrance, descent, and descent process. The mission has cameras and a microphone to capture all the excitement and stress as NASA tries to gently land on Perseverance on the surface of Mars.

Crater Lake

This view of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the Lake Crater Delta region.


Crater Lake is just north of the Mars equator and was once home to the river delta. Because of this water history, it is the most important place to look for signs of past microbial life. It seems to be the perfect landing place for a science lab on wheels.

“The landing site at Lake Crater offers geologically rich terrain, with landforms dating back as far as 3.6 billion years, that could potentially answer important questions about planetary evolution and astrobiology,” said NASA’s Tom Zurbuchen when the site was launched in 2018. .

Life statistics

The car-sized Perseverance rover looks quite similar to its predecessor, the Curiosity, but it also reflects the significant advances in technology since the Curiosity was developed. Here are the numbers:

Length: 10 feet (3 meters)
Weight: 2260 pounds (1,025 kilograms)
Wheels: Six aluminum wheels with titanium spokes
Maximum speed: Slightly less than 0.1 miles per hour (152 meters per hour)

Scientific instruments

The Perseverance rover is equipped with instruments that will be used to explore Lake Crater on Mars.


Perseverance includes seven measures chosen to help it achieve its mission goals. You can opt out of NASA altogether, but here are some of the most important things:

Mastcam-Z: The camera system built into the rover’s mast is smooth for the eyes on the head. According to NASA, its main job is to “capture high-definition video, panoramic colors, and 3D images of Mars’ surface and atmospheric features using a zoom lens to magnify distant targets.” The table camera will be our main window to the Lake Crater.

Moxie: Experimenting with the use of Martian oxygen in a resource situation is one way in which perseverance helps prepare people to go to Mars. This instrument is designed to produce oxygen from a carbon dioxide atmosphere. This opportunity will be needed to help future human explorers breathe, but it would also help us make a rocket rocket straight from the field. This is a necessary step for our Mars astronauts to return to Earth after missions.

SuperCam: When you put together a camera, laser, and spectrometer, you get the SuperCam, an instrument that helps you search for organic compounds, a key part of the search for signs of past microbial life. “It can recognize chemical and mineral sights that are as small as a pencil dot from more than 20 feet (7 meters) away,” NASA said.

Sherlock: “Scanning an efficient environment using Raman & luminescence for Organics & Chemicals or Sherloc, as the instrument is lovingly known, will look for signs of life on the red planet. The instrument and its satellite camera (nicknamed Watson) are capable of photographing and analyzing microscopic images of Mars. Equipped with a laser that can fire at the surface, Sherloc can measure chemicals in soil and rocks using a spectroscopic method.

Airplane helicopter

NASA’s Mars helicopter team adds a piece to the 2019 flight model. In the beginning.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

“Sending a Helicopter to Mars” may sound a little further away, but NASA is still doing it. Ingenuity, a small helicopter designed to work in the complex conditions of the red planet, is tucked into a rover’s belly where it will take off from a journey.

Ingenuity is a very risky and very rewarding demonstration of technology. He will be hung under the rover for several months until NASA finds a suitable place to deploy it. Perseverance will lower it to the surface of Mars and move away.

The helicopter will try to fly an engine on another planet for the first time. NASA hopes that ingenuity will increase greatly and become an example of new ways to explore other worlds.

Watch this video to learn more about how this little chopper could change your approach to space exploration.

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Joined his brothers and sisters

NASA currently has two machines operating on the surface of Mars: a stationary InSight landing machine and a Mars rover Curiosity. InSight is located on a large plain in a region called Elysium Planitia. Curiosity revolves around the Gale Crater – a giant ditch with a huge mountain inside. Perseverance will destroy a very different part of the planet as NASA’s legacy of exploring Mars continues.

The last time we had two running rovers on Mars was in 2018, when The Opportunity rover lost touch with home due to the global dust storm. Perseverance will not have the same problems as opportunity. Like Curiosity, it uses a nuclear power source that does not require sunlight to sustain.

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“Browse as one”

This plate contains the names of almost 11 million people and an encoded message.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Perseverance will be far from Earth, but it will evoke important memories of your home planet. More than 10.9 million. People have signed that their names travel with rovers via NASA’s Send Your Name to Mars program. The names are engraved on small silicon chips that NASA mounted on a rover on an aluminum plate under a protective shield.

The plate also depicts the Earth, our sun, and Mars. Hidden rays of the sun are Morse code message “explore as one”.

A a separate aluminum plate honors healthcare workers and their efforts to help humanity during the coronavirus pandemic. This plate shows a snake wrapped in a stick with the ground on top.

These names and messages are a reminder that NASA robot explorers never actually travel alone. Perseverance is the culmination of many of NASA’s efforts, but it is also a throwback to humanity, an extension of our sense of curiosity and wonder, and a little bit of Earth on Mars.

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