NASA Aerospace Agency Engineershave begun to build a new rover, which will go to the Red Planet in July 2020 using the Atlas-5 launch vehicle. The new rover will be built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. Approximately the process of assembling a new autonomous Martian scientific laboratory will take one and a half years.
"Parts and equipment for the rover do notonly from different cities of the United States, but from all over the world, ”David Grüel, the head of the work on the assembly and testing of the planet rover at JPL, commented to Space.com portal.
The source notes that, in particular, several scientific instruments manufactured in France, Norway and Spain.
One of the main tasks to be setbefore the new Mars rover Mars 2020 (the name, most likely, working, and the more appropriate designation will be obtained by the rover, most likely, after its assembly is completed), will consist in searching for signs of life on our planetary neighbor.
According to NASA experts, “the device willexplore the geological structure of Mars, the composition of the atmosphere, will make an assessment of natural resources and the threats that people may face during the coming expeditions to this planet.
One of the scientific instruments of the new rover will bedesigned to produce oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars, consisting mainly of carbon dioxide. In addition, an autonomous Martian laboratory will produce soil and stones, which will be sent to Earth for further analysis in the longer term during the development of the planet.
The new rover will get the size of a smallcar. Its length will be about 3 meters (excluding the mechanical arm-manipulator), width - 2.7 meters, and height - 2.2 meters. At the same time, its weight will be about 1050 kilograms, which is approximately 150 kilograms more than the weight of Curiosity, which has already spent more than 2000 Earth days on Mars. By the way, when developing Mars 2020, it was decided to borrow a lot of components and parts from the latter.
Final selection of the landing siteNASA has not yet made a Mars rover, but the most likely are Jezero crater, Gusev crater and the northeast part of the low shield volcano Big Sirt.