According to current NASA plans, the new device shouldgo to Mars in July 2020. The main task of the new rover will be to find answers to one of the key questions about the Red Planet - was Mars inhabited in the past? To solve this mystery, the device will be equipped with a drill, with which it is planned to collect soil samples. In addition, the new rover will get the tools that will allow to test new methods of producing oxygen from carbon dioxide contained in the atmosphere of the Red Planet.
However, to successfully complete the mission, the roverfor a start, it must successfully reach the surface of our planetary neighbor and land in the crater of Ezero. As reported on the official NASA website, the entire landing process will take about seven minutes. And it will become, perhaps, one of the most difficult trials that a new mobile scientific laboratory will have to face, because at this moment all the control of the landing will take place offline. During this time, the computer of the device will have to perform a total of 27,000 different operations and calculations in order to safely land the 1050-kilogram rover. During this time, the mission team will not be able to intervene in the process in the landing process. On Earth, experts will only be able to get information about a successful or unsuccessful landing.
Mars 2020 rover launch platform
Time left before the start of the mission is not soa lot, so experts need to prepare as best as possible for the upcoming testing of the apparatus in the field. To this end, at the moment, simulation tests of the upcoming landing have begun in the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. During the first test of Systems Test 1 (ST1), engineers launched the rover’s electronic systems for two weeks and tested the software of the device in various simulated situations as part of its journey to Mars. In general, as noted on the website of the aerospace agency, these tests were considered successful, but experts noted a number of points that could be improved.
Before the launch of the rover Mars 2020, which is scheduled for July 17, 2020 using the Atlas 541 launch vehicle, engineers are planning to carry out more such tests and others.
"In one of the future tests, for example, the roverplaced in a thermal chamber, inside which the environment will be modeled, corresponding to the conditions of being on the surface of the Red Planet. In conditions of very low and high temperatures, the device will need to perform a number of tasks, ”comments Heather Bottom, system engineer for the Mars 2020 mission from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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