NASA is gearing up for the Mars 2020 landing

Mars 2020 rover of NASA is on schedule for next month’s launch, which will initiate an earnest mission to return the planet’s samples to Earth. Launched on July 30, the spacecraft is expected to arrive at 3:55 p.m. Eastern February 18 in the Jezero crater. The Perseverance rover, which is a vehicle identical to the Curiosity rover, which arrived in the year 2012, but with a new suite of equipment and other upgrades, will be put on the Earth. “It’s all going very well. The spacecraft is well; the subsystems work nominally as well as the team is conducting final checks for EDL as well as initial surface operations,” stated Eric Ianson, who works at Mars Mars Exploration Program of NASA as a director on January 27 at a conference of the MEPAG (Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group).

When the spacecraft approaches the Martian atmosphere as well as slows down to facilitate a secure landing of the rover, EDL corresponds to entry, descent as well as landing, identified as the “7 minutes of terror.” That method is equivalent to what was used by Curiosity, but with some enhancements. One of those is “range trigger,” during a January 27 news conference, Allen Chen, the Mars 2020 EDL head, said. “We have given Perseverance the chance to dictate for herself when to launch the parachute relying on where she would be with the range trigger,” he stated, allowing a more detailed landing.

The other is terrain relative navigation, which he said gives the lander “eyes as well as a map.” The spaceship will utilize cameras to take pictures of the terrain as it falls and start comparing them to the onboard map. “She can be able to fly to a secure spot nearby once she’s realized out where she is,” he stated, further enhancing the accuracy of the landing. For the project to go to Jezero Crater, the two technologies are necessary, Chen stated. “I see a threat when I glance at it from the landing point of view,” he said, like steep cliffs, boulders, sand and impact craters. “We just couldn’t go to Jezero if it was not for the range trigger as well as terrain relative navigation.”

This position is attractive to scientists as it seemed to be a lake in the early days of the Earth but may hold signs of past Martian life contained in carbonate concentrations left behind. Ken Farley, the scientist, who has been working on Mars 2020 project, said at the meeting, ‘I deeply admire the engineering team’s work to get us to a risky landing site. “The landing site is fantastic.” The collection of Jezero Crater specimens will be a vital part of the project. Mars 2020 is the start of a larger Mars Sample Return project, where Perseverance will hide samples that will be gathered as well as returned to Earth on two subsequent missions, which will be deployed no sooner than 2026.