The new NASA rover, which will go toThe red planet in the summer of 2020, is currently undergoing an active phase of inspections and testing. According to the portal Space.com, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory specialists have fully assembled and tested the compatibility of a special capsule in which the rover will fly to our planetary neighbor. In the course of landing on the surface of Mars, a new autonomous science laboratory, like its predecessor, Curiosity, which landed on the Red Planet in 2012, will have to experience “7 minutes of horror”.
To prepare the rover for this harshto the test, scientists carry out a reliable "laying" of all scientific equipment and carefully check whether each bolt and screw are fitted correctly in the literal sense. The new rover and the Curiosity have similar chassis and frame, but the rover, which will go to Mars in 2020, is equipped with other scientific instruments.
"Laying is a very important part of preparingmissions No matter how good our computer models are, we have to make sure that all the connecting holes are the same and everything fits as it should, ”commented David Gruel, coordinator of the assembly, testing and launch of the Mars 2020 mission from the Jet Lab. movement.
"This is an amazing feeling when you see that allcollected and expects further preparation phase, which ultimately will lead to the fact that the rover will be delivered to the launch site at Cape Canaveral and sent to Mars next July. ”
For the styling process, JPL specialists useThis rover and its "twin", almost an exact copy, with which, before assembling and installing this equipment, it is checked whether all the details fit together.
During the last series of inspections, engineersinstalled on top of the rover-twin top of the descent module. Making sure that all the holes match each other, the experts then installed the lower part, which will protect the real rover as it enters the atmosphere of the Red Planet. Then the scientists installed a special nose cone designed to protect the block of the Mars 2020 parachute system when the spacecraft enters the planet. In the final phase of the descent, the cone will separate, allowing the parachutes to gently land the rover on the surface.
Next, the spacecraft for acoustic testswas taken to a special environmental test zone. It simulates various extreme environmental conditions that the rover will be subjected to during its launch and landing. As part of the last test, scientists will test how sound waves and vibrations will affect the rover during launch and landing.
Upon completion of these tests, scientists will checkthe integrity of the design of the device. With a successful test, the rover will be placed for a week in a thermal vacuum chamber in which the conditions of the space environment will be simulated, in which the Mars 2020 rover will have to spend seven months during its flight to the Red Planet. Then another check on the integrity of the structure and the reliability of all connections will follow. After completion of the thermal tests in the vacuum chamber, the assembled apparatus will be returned back to the assembly workshop, where it will be reassembled for the next checks and rework.
“The preparation of this mission does not stopa minute Until the Atlas rocket comes off the surface of the launch pad at Cape Canaveral and sends our rover to Mars in July 2020, we will constantly collect, check and modify something, ”explains Gruel.
Such a thorough preparation of the new roverquite justified, because the rover "Mars 2020" will be entrusted with a very ambitious task - to find life on Mars. His predecessor, Curiosity, during his work on the Red Planet, was able to find many hints of its existence in the past (they found water particles, organic molecules and methane), but Curiosity itself was not adapted for an effective search for life. In addition, with the help of the Mars 2020 rover, it is planned to collect samples of Martian soil, which in subsequent missions are supposed to be delivered to Earth for a more detailed analysis.
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