NASA’s persevering probe is just a few days away from its daring seven-minute landing on the surface of Mars, where it will land on the most challenging terrain of the Red Planet mission.
On February 18th, persevere with the size of a car – the heart of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission – Will try to land Inside the Jizero crater which is 28 miles (45 kilometers) wide. The Entry, disembarkation and landing The EDL phase of the Mars mission is often referred to as the “Seven Minutes of Terror,” because the sequence is extremely horrific and occurs much faster than the radio signals reach Earth from Mars. This means that the spacecraft will become on its own once it enters the Martian atmosphere – and a new video from NASA shows how the spacecraft will achieve such an amazing feat.
“Space has always had a way to throw lonely balls and astonish us,” said Swati Mohan, Guidance, Navigation and Control Operations in March 2020 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, He says in the video. “There are several things that have to go right to get the Earth safely.”
Landing of NASA’s Mars probe: All you need to know
The EDL phase begins when the spacecraft reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere and ends with a rocket-powered sky lift to safely lower the persistence to the surface of the red planet. The entire EDL sequence takes about seven minutes, during which many critical steps must be taken. The stakes are very high on Thursday for Mars 2020, which will search for clues to ancient life and collect samples for the first humanity. Interplanetary sampling return campaign.
“There’s a lot of dependence on this,” says Al Chen of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Entering Mars 2020 and Descending and Landing in the video. “This is the first leg of the relay race back – there is a lot of work at stake.”
Shortly before reaching the red planet, Perseverance will abandon the cruise phase, which has helped transport the craft to Mars for the past 6.5 months. The next big milestone is Enter the atmosphere, When the craft will cruise through the Martian sky at a speed of about 12,100 miles per hour (19,500 kilometers per hour).
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The spacecraft is equipped with a heat shield that protects the rover from the intense heat generated during its initial landing, and helps slow the spacecraft’s speed. About 7 miles (11 kilometers) above the surface, the spacecraft will deploy 70.5 feet (21.5 meters) Supersonic parachute – The largest number ever sent to another planet, according to the video.
After a brief period , Heat shield It will detach and retreat away from the spacecraft, exposing perseverance to the Martian atmosphere for the first time and initiating the vehicle’s Terrain Relative Navigation System, a new autopilot technology that will help guide the craft toward a safe landing on Mars.
“Perseverance will be the first task of using terrain proportional navigation,” Mohan says in the video. “While it’s descending on the parachute, you’ll actually take pictures of the surface of Mars and determine where to go based on what you see. That’s finally like landing with your eyes open – the presence of this new technology really allows for the perseverance to land in terrain that is much more challenging than Curiosity, or any previous mission to Mars.”
Pictures: NASA’s Mars probe mission
The EDL sequence of persistence is very similar to that of NASA Curiosity wandering, Which landed in 2012. However, the persistence is a bit greater and equipped with more advanced scientific tools, including new technology that will help guide the spacecraft during its difficult landing.
Scientists believe that a lake 820 feet (250 meters) deep is full Crater Lake About 3.9 billion to 3.5 billion years ago. The area also contains prominent river deltas, where the water once flowed and deposited a lot of sediment. While this landing site offers geologically rich terrain, rocks, pits and cliffs make it a very difficult place to persevere.
“The science team has identified Jezero Crater Island as the foundation of an ancient lake and one of the most promising places to search for evidence of ancient microbial life, and to collect samples for a return to Earth in the future,” said Matt Smith of JPL, JPL flight manager, March 2020 Operations , As he says in the video. “The problem is that it is a much more dangerous place to land.”
During the last minute before perseverance landed on the red planet, the mission Sky crane descending stage Eight helicopters or landing engines will be launched on Mars. Then, the traveling crane will be safely lowered to the ground using three nylon cables. Once the spacecraft makes landfall, it will cut the cables connecting it to the landing stage, which will then fly and land safely out of the way.
“Surviving for seven minutes is really just the beginning of persistence,” Chen says in the video. “Its function – being the first stop for samples to return; to go to look for signs of past life on Mars – all cannot begin until we get to safely persevere on Earth, at which point the real mission begins.”
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