After nearly seven months of travel, NASA’s Mars 2020 mission will land on Mars next Thursday with the diligent rover. According to NASA, the mission, which already costs $ 3 billion, is ambitious for the first time looking for traces of ancient life. However, until the equipment touches the ground, there will be 7 minutes of pure terror by diligence. NASA explains everything.
In a very descriptive video, the American space agency shows a process that could have been a success or … a total and costly failure!
NASA predicts the arrival of the Perseverance Rover to Mars on the 18th. As the countdown continues, tensions are high at the US space agency's control center. Engineers and researchers finalize the details of the final section and evaluate the possible correction of the ship’s trajectory to select the optimal atmospheric entry point.
From there, the vehicle begins its descent and takes so-called "seven-minute terror" to execute complex maneuvers until it is brief but dizzy and lands on the ground.
Descending to Mars via Hell
The work was prepared in detail. However, hundreds of things can go wrong, and the diligent spacecraft must solve them completely autonomously.
Eleven and a half minutes after the ship landed on Earth to tell you an idea, the team following the ship can try to solve it. If the mission is successful, NASA will have to wait a long time to realize it. In fact, landing on Mars is an achievement. Only 40% of the missions sent by any space company were successful.
As it were Explained here, The location chosen for the rover landing (we are talking about a vehicle similar in size to a car and its predecessor Curiosity) And this Gretora Lake. The 50-kilometer-long length is of great scientific value because it is believed to have been covered by rivers and an lake 3.5 billion years ago.
Therefore, the selected site has the best conditions for detecting traces of microorganisms, if they have ever lived there. However, it was a poisonous gift for Jessero Rover.
It's great for science, but it's full of dangers: rocks, slopes, rocks ...
Deputy Director of Aviation Operations on Mars warns Fernando Abileira.
Hell entering the atmosphere of Mars at a speed of 20,000 km per hour
It is true that this is nothing new to NASA. In fact, this is already Curiosity (2012) and the third landing on Mars after the site. Insight (2018) will study the interior of the planet.
We will enter the atmosphere at a speed of 20,000 km per hour and should be reduced to 3 km per hour when the vehicle reaches the surface within seven minutes.
We are talking about a $ 3 billion mission, the space agency officials know, and the slightest mistake will derail the mission from the beginning. As mentioned, everything should work exactly as planned. For example, there are more than 70 pyrotechnic charges in the vehicle that can be used to match or discharge devices. If one of them does not work, the descent cannot be completed.
Parachutes, a crane and retro rockets
The row is measured in millimeters. About 80 seconds after entering the atmosphere, the outside temperature will reach 1,300 C, but the rover will thank you for its protective thermal shield. When it lands, it shoots small motives to prevent it from getting out of the way.
Then, the heat shield would lower the spacecraft to 1,600 km / h. At that time, 240 seconds after entering, a supersonic parachute with a diameter of 21 meters will open at an altitude of 11 km and a speed of 1,512 km per hour. To do this, the diligent rover will use a new technology (Range Trigger) that calculates the distance to the landing target instead of the navigation speed, as was done with Curiosity. This technology reduces landing errors by up to 50%.
After twenty seconds, the heat shield will fall apart. The rover will be exposed to the atmosphere of Mars for the first time. Another new technology, terrain navigation, is implemented as it emits signals from your landing radar surface to calculate your altitude.
This system uses cameras that capture images of the surface. The rover will compare them to an internal map, determine where it is in the descent and move it to a safe place to land the maneuver with full autonomy.
Fernando Abileira explained.
At this point, the rover is moving at 320 km per hour. Will fall up and free itself from the parachute and travel the rest of the way using rockets from different positions. At about 2.7 km per hour, 12 seconds after touching the ground and at an altitude of about 20 meters, an "aerial crane" maneuver will be launched in which the rover will be stopped by 6.4 meters of cables. In the meantime, it will load your legs and wheels to the landing position.
Touch the ground and start a new phase on the Red Planet
Once the rover detects that its wheels have touched the ground, it will cut the cables that connect it to the descent phase, which will fall at a safe distance.
Teams on the field will receive a definite signal that everything happened eleven minutes late. Continuous parameters will ensure success and low resolution image will come soon. Sounds will also be recorded.
The diligent engine will later become NASA's fifth rover to ride on Mars. With seven amazing scientific tools, you will search for traces of ancient microbial life and collect samples of rocks to be brought to Earth on future voyages. In addition, your mission will pave the way for humanity to explore other worlds beyond the moon.
We can follow everything in the NASA broadcast about what is happening on Mars: