The astrobiology lab, “packaged” in a space capsule, arrives on Mars after a seven-month journey to perform a mission-critical, dangerous maneuver. On the community site of the Svábhegy Observatory, astronomers broadcast the landing of Perseverance live.
Perseverance will enter the Martian atmosphere at a speed of 19,300 km / h. As its parachute slows down, it travels the atmosphere of Mars on its own, releasing radio signals for minutes, but by the time they reach mission experts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), 204 million kilometers away, NASA’s planetary research institute, Perseverance in one piece.
The six-wheeled Martian is expected to take seven minutes to descend to the surface from the upper layer of the atmosphere of Mars. This rather throat-squeezing descent period is dubbed by JPL staff only as “seven minutes of terror”. Al Chen, head of the JPL’s group on descent and landing, says this is the most critical and dangerous part of the $ 2.7 billion mission.
The new generation of robot marchers is a smaller car-sized, designed to search for signs of ancient microbial life on the red planet, study its climate and geography, collect rock and soil samples, and pave the way for humans to explore the planet.
The 1,040-pound Martian will land at the bottom of a 250-foot-deep crater called Jezero, in which a lake was still rippling on the planet’s surface 3.5 billion years ago. The robot spends an entire Martian year – 687 Earth days – on Mars.
As part of its data collection work, Perseverance will collect borehole samples from the rock of Mars, which NASA plans to bring back to Earth for analysis in two future missions in cooperation with the European Space Agency.
An experimental marsh helicopter called Ingenuity will also arrive on the planet on the Martian, which will conduct test flights. If a 1.8-kilogram solar-powered drone survives cold Martian nights, it means future missions can be expanded with aerial observations. If all goes well, Ingenuity could be the first device to fly on an alien planet – it gets on and off from there.
The Martian will also bring to the surface an experimental device that will extract pure oxygen from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mars. This could be invaluable in supporting human life on Mars in the future, as well as providing propellants for missiles to fly home.
The marcher landed on Thursday from 9 p.m. it is broadcast live by astronomers on the Svábhegy Observatory Facebook page.
Source: Vezess by www.vezess.hu.
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