Pictures, sounds, samples – the Mars rover has already done a lot
The car weighs 1000 kg and is now a little more. Because the first samples were collected. The persistent Mars rover is now searching for past microbial life in the delta. There are also big plans for the helicopter they brought with them.
FifthOn a “wonderful day,” acting NASA chief Steve Gorczyk got excited and even congratulated US President Joe Biden. One year ago last Friday, the Perseverance rover landed safely on the surface of Mars after a perilous maneuver. “Perseverance will take you anywhere,” was the motto at the time The official vehicle profile on Twitter commented.
Since then, the robot and the helicopter that it brought with it have had to overcome many obstacles, but to the delight of space enthusiasts and scientists around the world, they have also witnessed many first achievements and record-breaking – and the goals remain high.
She added that the rover will continue its search for past microbial life on Mars US space agency NASA. “Researchers will deepen their understanding of the Red Planet as the rover studies the delta that formed billions of years ago at Jezero Crater from sediments from a river that once existed there.”
In addition, in cooperation with the European Space Agency ESA, planning for how “Perseverance” will send a sample of Mars to Earth is also ongoing. The Sample Recovery Probe should fly to Mars in 2026 at the earliest, and then a rocket carrying the sample on board should be launched toward Earth – this will also be a premiere.
NASA has just awarded a $200 million order for this missile to the Lockheed Martin Weapons and Technology Group. “This unprecedented project will inspire the world,” said NASA CEO Bill Nelson.
“Perseverance” has already sampled – even if it is not as easy as initially thought. The first attempt to drill in August failed because the rock was not solid enough to fill the sample tube. However, other tests at other locations succeeded – and the samples, which are slightly thicker than a pencil, were safely stored in the rover.
It took eight years to develop and build the nearly $2.5 billion rover, which began in July 2020 from the Cape Canaveral spaceport and then landed on Mars after 203 flying days and 472 million kilometers traveled. “Perseverance” is already the fifth rover that NASA brings to Mars – before that, Curiosity had last been there in 2012. The “Perseverance” robot, which weighs about 1,000 kilograms and is the size of a small car, is carried on board, from Among other things, seven scientific instruments, 23 cameras, lasers and microphones.
In addition to photos and videos, sounds recorded with microphones have inspired scientists and space enthusiasts around the world: “Perseverance” sent, among other things, audio recordings of his landing, laser experiment, and flight over Mars – all with never-before-seen audio material.
However, a very special passenger has evolved into the superstar of the mission: deploy the passenger who traveled with him Ingenious little helicopter (Creativity) It was originally only meant to last 30 days – and has since been extended indefinitely.
The helicopter has to withstand the harsh conditions on Mars: At night, temperatures drop to minus 90 degrees, posing a challenge for batteries and electronics. Because of the thin atmosphere, which is about 1% as dense as Earth’s, the Ingenuity rotors must accelerate to many times what helicopters can achieve on Earth.
The helicopter, powered by lithium-ion batteries and weighing about 1.8kg, was the first to fly on another planet when it first took off in April – and has now completed 19 flights. In total, the small helicopters stayed in the air for more than half an hour, much more than scientists previously thought possible.
“Few thought we were going to make one trip, and he didn’t think it would be five,” said Chief Creative Officer Teddy Zanitos. “No one believed that we would achieve this as much as we did.”
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