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Home / Science / NASA is launching Perseverance, its most ambitious Mars SUV, flawlessly

NASA is launching Perseverance, its most ambitious Mars SUV, flawlessly



Perseverance roveris and Ingenuity the helicopter is on its way to Mars, beginning to look for signs of ancient life, to fly the red planet sky and a charming journey of people one day after themselves.

“It’s a truly significant mission with the best chance of discovering evidence of life elsewhere in the solar system during your life,” said David Flannery, a member of the Perseverance Science team and long-term mission planner.

NASA̵

7;s next-generation robot researchers left Earth the early morning sunshine of the Florida coast at the United Launch Alliance Alliance Atlas V. Just 20 minutes before Thursday’s start, NASA’s jet propulsion lab was shaken across the continent by a 4.5-magnitude earthquake in Pasadena, California, but that didn’t dampen the excitement of the launch. Not this Global pandemic could not stop him.

7:50 p.m. Local time / 4:50 p.m. PT, the main engine and four rocket boosters fired at the Atlas rocket, a vehicle taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The rocket rose from the Cape Canaveral launch pad with a dazzling stream of fire, steam and smoke.

The Mars 2020 spacecraft was separated from the rocket booster just an hour after launch. Two NASA interplanetary planes are now traveling and will travel nearly 350 million miles on a nearly seven-month journey to the red planet.

The journey to the start was much longer.

Eight years ago, NASA announces it will build Mars rover closely modeled Curiositywho went to the red planet in 2011. In the fight for government budget cuts, NASA essentially glued a rover, sometimes using the rest of its predecessor, and perseverance was born. For scientists like Flannery, perseverance wasn’t just a name. Before starting, he said he was nervous and optimistic as the NASA science team had been waiting a long time for a raise.

“Many of us have been working on this for a better decade,” he said.

Perseverance is all in one, a rolling science laboratory. Like its predecessor, it is about the size of a car, but it has a large turret on the back of the robot arm and thicker, stronger wheels. The nuclear vehicle has seven scientific instruments, two microphones and 23 cameras – nine for engineering, seven for experiments and seven – to watch the rover descend to the surface. It will be able to produce stunning images, such as those returned by Curiosity, but it is also an incredibly capable alien search tool based on past and current NASA research on the red planet.

“Previous missions to Mars have studied geology and revealed a history in which the red planet had oceans and rivers billions of years ago,” said Alan Duffy, a Swinburn University astronomer and chief scientist at the Royal Institute of Australia.

“Perseverance will look for chemical signs of life in that geology, allowing us to better tell what a habitable world it was.”

It will take a long time for the data from the surface to start filtering back to Earth, but there are many elements that will mark the list of Perseverance goals.

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The Atlas V smoke path descends from the ground.

NASA / Joel Kowski

The next stage, of course, is landing on Mars and overcoming the so-called “seven minutes of terror” – 420 seconds between entering the atmosphere of Mars and touching its surface.

“Landing is a really hard part,” Flannery said. “With this particular mission, we have a bit of that legacy – the landing system worked with Curiosity. I’m optimistic.”

The maneuver is planned for 2021. February. If all goes as planned, perseverance will finally turn its feet on the dusty soil of Mars and begin its science mission. The scientific efficiency factor on board includes an X-ray fluorescent instrument, spectroscopic instruments, and a range of radars. Together, they will allow perseverance to monitor the chemistry of their landing site, Crater Lake.

“The lake crater was once an ancient lake filled with water about 3.5 billion years ago, and the conditions are ideal for looking for possible traces of ancient life,” said Brendan Burns, an astrobiologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia. The mission plans to take soil and sediment from the Lake and plans to take those samples in a reservoir and leave them on the surface of Mars for future missions.

“Rover collects stones on Mars that will eventually be returned to Earth for analysis,” said Bonnie Teece, a doctor of astrobiology. A student at the University of New South Wales. “These precious grams of Mars rocks can completely change our perception of our nearest neighbor.”

For students like Teece, perseverance offers many opportunities. Duffy notes that the rover was able to continue collecting data for years to come.

“Generations of scientists depend on whether this mission is successfully launched from our planet and descends to another,” he said.

The interplanetary highway between Earth and Mars is as busy as ever. In the last two weeks The United Arab Emirates and China have both sent missions to the red planet. The UAE has launched an atmospheric probe called “Hope” to study Mars from orbit and provide a holistic picture of the planet’s atmospheric cycles, possibly answering long-standing questions about its unusual gas composition. China, on the contrary, is trying to land the mission on the surface of Mars. Jos Tianwen-1 mission is made up of three spacecraft: an orbit, an aircraft, and a currently nameless rover.

Perseverance and ingenuity follow them, but they don’t lag far behind.

“It’s a monumental occasion,” Burns said. “Lighted candle”.




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