Thursday, 06 August, 2020


NASA set to launch Mars Perseverance rover

Filipinos top signup for NASA's 'Send Your Name to Mars' NASA’s Mars-Bound Spaceship Carrying Perseverance Rover Faces Technical Issues
Kristine Garrett | 01 August, 2020, 11:27

Mars will soon be welcoming another visitor from Earth.

The first single to the ground controller was sent at 9:15 am (1315 GMT ) by Mars 2020 but it was not until 11:30 am (1530 GMT) that it established telemetry that is a more detailed spacecraft data.

The mission - created to better understand the geology and climate of Mars and seek signs of ancient life on the Red Planet - will use the robotic scientist to collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth by future Mars sample return missions.

Perseverance is due to land at the base of a 250m-deep crater called Jezero, site of a former lake and water system from 3.5 billion years ago that scientists suspect could bear evidence of potential past microbial life.

Scientists have long debated whether Mars - once a much more hospitable place than it is today - ever harbored life.

While most of Perseverance's seven instruments are geared toward learning more about the planet's geology and astrobiology, the MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) instrument's job is focused on missions yet to come. A NASA-provided payload on the orbiter would provide the capabilities needed to capture and contain the samples, placing them in an Earth entry vehicle that would land the samples safely on USA soil.

Aboard the rover are the Sample Caching System and the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, a technology demonstrator that will perform up to five controlled flights.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Mike Watkins joked about the California quake, saying it was "just the Earth being excited about going to Mars".

This is a known issue that we have encountered on other planetary missions, including during the launch of NASA's Curiosity rover in 2011. "About 290 million miles of them".

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of America's larger Moon to Mars exploration approach that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Charged with returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA's Artemis program.

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