Perseverance rover will arrive at Mars with a bang: How NASA will listen

Perseverance rover will arrive at Mars with a bang: How NASA will listen

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An illustration of persistence while landing on the surface of Mars.

NASA

When NASA’s Mars 2020 Persistence Rovers the Land on the Surface of the Red Planet Thursday, it will carry a microphone that will, hopefully, manage to capture the sounds of its descent and touchdown. But it will not be the only device listening for the arrival of the rover.

Mars Insight Lander Jezero is located less than 2,000 miles (about 3,000 kilometers) from Crater, where the fixture is set to descend. Unlike the more charismatic rovers, which are designed to roll around and explore the Martian landscape, one of Insight’s primary jobs is to just sit in one place and listen for Marsquake and other seismic activity.

Insight has already been successful in locating Marsquake. But as the lone seismic detection station on the planet, its science team has had trouble pinpointing Quake’s location and magnitude. This is easy to do on Earth, where there is a complete network of seismic sensors, which makes it easy to check and calculate the details of a certain shock.

Now scientists are hoping to use a landing of persistence to get a better picture of the internal structure of Mars and how seismic waves propagate through it. The expectation is that Insight will be able to take various stages of landing with its sensors. In short, this will be the first time Insight will hear an “earthquake” and also know where it is coming from. This important data will allow researchers to improve their model of the Martian interior and test Insight’s seismic detection powers.


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Ben Fernando, a member of The Insight Science Team, writes, “Fortunately, the entry, descent, and landing of the Persistence Rover is so energetic that it produces a signal detectable by a seismometer.”

A real touch of firmness means a softer landing that should not be detectable over long distances, but the more energetic parts of Fernando’s process include the sound boom from the spacecraft as it recedes, and cruise mass. Two large weight effects called balance devices, aka CMBDs.

Fernando and colleagues calculated signals that could be generated by a sound boom and were unlikely to be detectable by Insight. However, 154-pound (70 kg) CMBDs will be jailed more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) above the surface of Mars, and should produce smaller craters when they impact the planet at high speeds.

“It will transmit vast amounts of energy into the ground, which will produce seismic waves,” Fernando explains. “We estimated that these signals would allow the ‘loud’ to be detected by the seismometer of the insides at about 40% of the time in the best condition. The uncertainty of our estimates is significant, mainly because no one Have not tried to detect any effect. Event at these distances before. ”

Regardless of how well it works, an attempt to locate a spacecraft landing on Mars with another distant probe will be a first.

Be sure to keep up with all our coverage of coming strongly to Mars, which is scheduled for 12:55 PM on Thursday afternoon.

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