NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover landing will be thrilling must-see TV

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover landing will be must-see TV
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An illustration of persistence while landing on the surface of Mars.


About nasa A shiny new robot lands on the surface of Mars, And for the first time, we will be able to see and hear what it is like to touch another world. Persistence due to land in Jazero Crater on Thursday, became the first artificial object to surface Mars Insight Lander The first rover in 2018 and since Curiosity Touched in 2012.

But the new Rover on the block is carrying more audio-visual gear than its predecessors to capture part of the mission’s stage entry, descending and landing, or EDL. A camera mounted on the spacecraft’s rear shell is pointed upwards and will be able to capture a view of the parachutes that will be positioned to move slowly while descending. Below it is a downward-pointing camera on the descent stage, which slows down the rover for landing.

Finally, the rover itself is equipped with cameras and a microphone. Together, this suite of techs should provide us with the most detailed images and audio of landings on Mars yet.

“We are going to see ourselves on another planet for the first time,” Lori Glaze, head of the planetary science division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, told reporters during a briefing last month.

The cameras

Perseverance carries its own audio-visual rigging.


The entire EDL stage will only last seven minutes, but EDL lead Alan Chen calls it “the mission’s most important and most dangerous”.

The persistence will affect the Martian atmosphere traveling at around 12,000 mph (19,312 kilometers per hour), which will start moving slower in the sky. A 70-foot (21 m) diameter parachute will deploy to slow it further. Later, its heat shield is released and radar is activated to help it determine its location.

At a height of about a mile (1.5 km), the Descent module ejects its engines and a new terrain relative navigation system, or TRN, kicks in to identify a safe landing spot. TRN is basically a computer vision that allows a spacecraft to see the terrain below and match it with maps in its database.

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The system slows down to a literal crawl, and then times the “sky crane”, the same type of hovering landing system uses curiosity rover, which will allow the fixture to radically lower to the surface .

This entire process will be fully automated without any input from mission control as there may be a delay in sending radio signals from Mars back to Earth.

Perseverance has taken many samples to look for signs of ancient life on our neighboring world, who will return to Earth to collect samples and test some techniques for future Mars missions.

In addition, it is a small helicopter.

The robot has spent years wandering around Mars, which is great, but for the first time NASA will use one Small helicopter, dubbed Ingenuity, To try to fly around the planet.

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But before Ingenuity can fly, Perseverance must first close its landing. Although its camera and microphone will capture most of this process, it will not have any live feeds as we have become accustomed to the International Space Station or launched most from Earth. This is because the use of data relay persistence during EDL is slower than for older dial-up connections.

However, after landing it will be able to use the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to send images back to Earth. Chen estimates that we will be able to see at least some images of the environment surrounding the surface persistence soon after landing. We may have to wait a few days for more imagery and audio that portrays the full picture of the landing process.

However, we have live feeds from Mission Control, which provide some of the more iconic images from Curiosity Landing. (Mohawk man, anyone?) Of course, the COVID-19 protocols would be effective under mission control, but it is unlikely that the pandemic would even celebrate a successful landing.

“I don’t think COVID is going to be able to stop us from jumping up and down and clenching fists,” said Deputy Project Manager Matt Wallace. “You’re going to see a lot of happy people, no matter what, once we get this thing safely to the surface.”

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