Space

NASA is testing the Mars 2020 landing system in Death Valley

Space Agency NASA is preparing formission "Mars 2020", during which the eponymous spaceship will reach the Red Planet and sink to the surface of the Jezero crater. In early May, researchers successfully tested a heat shield to protect the apparatus from the hot air that will arise when it collides with the atmosphere. The agency is now testing the Lander Vision (LVS) system, which provides safe descent to the surface due to its ability to study the terrain landscape.

The location of the test was chosen ValleyDeath is an intermontane depression in the state of California, which has a rather complex and diverse landscape. It is extremely important for the Agency to test the LVS system in difficult terrain so that it can land the rover in the most interesting place from a scientific point of view without putting itself at risk.

As a rule, the landing apparatus is made"Blindly," based on pre-loaded navigation instructions. Despite the fact that the researchers choose a safe zone without craters, boulders and cracks in advance, during the descent of the vehicles often unforeseen situations arise.

The LVS system is designed toavoid them. It includes a set of sensors that constantly sends to the on-board computer information about the coordinates of the device, its speed and height. Built-in lidar examines the terrain for the presence of dangerous places, and allows the device to sit in the safest place.

The system not only increases the chances of a successfullanding, but also allows you to sit in those places that are most interesting to scientists, but were considered extremely dangerous. Moreover, if there is a shortage of fuel, the device will be able to choose another place for landing.

Nearby the crater Dzhezero researchers candiscover the first extraterrestrial life. Around this object is a dried-up river delta, where live microbes can remain. More information about the expectations of scientists can be found in our material.

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