Perseverance has begun to drive Mars

On February 18, 2021, NASA Sustainability a rover landed in the Jezero Crater on Mars. Over the next two years of the main mission, this artificial mission will continue in tracing life gone on Mars, obtaining ground and rock drill samples that will be returned to Earth sometime for analysis. And on March 4, the rover made its first run, covering 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) over the Martian landscape.

The drive lasted about 33 minutes and saw the rover move forward 4 meters (13 feet), turn 150 instead of left, and then back up 2.5 meters (8 feet) into the parking area. his new temporary. The driver was part of a mobility test designed to inspect and calibrate all systems, subsystems and instruments Sustainability and marks an essential milestone in the use of the rover.

Once it begins scientific work in the Jezero Crater, the rover makes regular rounds of 200 meters (656 feet) or more at a time. In addition to the rover’s maneuvering system, the mission commanders used this start-up time to upgrade Sustainability software, replacing the program that helped land the rover with a man that allows him to explore the planet.

This happened on the eighth Martian day since then Sustainability they arrived on Mars (Sol 8, or Feb. 26th). Like Anais Zarifian, the Sustainability a team test bed engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a recent NASA press release:

“When it comes to wheeled vehicles on other planets, there are not many first-time incidents that are significant to the importance of first-time driving. This was our first opportunity to ‘kick the tires’ and take out Perseverance for spinning. The rover’s six-wheeler responded very well. We are now confident that our drive system is good to go, able to take us wherever science leads us over the next two years. “

Since then, the mission controllers have conducted inspections of it SustainabilityRadar Imager Subscription Test (RIMFAX) and In-Situ Mars Oxygen Utilization Test (MOXIE). These instruments allow Sustainability to study subsurface geological features with ground-entering radar (where melt water may still be present) and to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen gas.

The team also installed the two wind sensors that are part of Rover’s Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA), which measures wind speed, direction, temperature and humidity, and also measures dust particles (size and densities) in the Martian atmosphere. On March 2 (Sol 12), engineers removed a 2-meter (7-foot) rover for the first time and installed all five of its joints.

Perseverance rover deputy mission manager Robert Hogg said:

“Tuesday’s first test of the robotic arm was a big moment for us. That’s the main tool the science team uses to closely study the geological features of Jezero Crater, and then we drill and sample the most interesting ones. When we found out about the robotic arm flexing the muscles, including images of him working beautifully after his long trip to Mars – well, he made my day. ”

Throughout the process, the rover catalogs the progress by taking thousands of photos using the most advanced set of cameras ever sent to Mars. These include images taken by Sustainability Navigation and Cameras Hazard Avoidance where the rover crashed. By studying how the retrorockets dispersed dust during landing, the mission team hopes to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of landings on the Red Planet.

Everyone said, Sustainability there are 23 cameras, a combination of engineering (9), science (7), and entry, rescue, and landing cameras (7). These have taken about 7,000 images since the mission began to descend to the surface, all of which were sent back to Earth through the Deep Space Network (DSN). This is further aided by the number of robotic missions currently in orbit around the Red Planet.

As Justin Maki, the chief engineer for images and the image scientist for Mars 2020 Sustainability JPL’s rover mission said:

“Orbiter support for a downlink of data has changed dramatically. When you see a beautiful image from Jezero, imagine that he made you get a whole team of Martians. All images from Perseverance are broadcast either by the European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter, or by NASA’s MAVEN, Mars Odyssey, or Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. They are important partners in our research and findings. “

Soon, more studies and evaluations will take place, which include more testing and calibration of the science instruments, taking longer test strokes, and moving down the covers. the Caching Sampling System kept the rover and Mars Ingenuity Helicopter flying at landing. Innovation will also soon conduct an experimental test tour to test its systems and capabilities.

The Sustainability Mission is the latest in a long series of missions dedicated to revealing mysteries from Mars’ past. These include the presence of water on its surface, a thicker (and warmer) atmosphere, the identification of the climate in the past, and how it might survive. As part of this commitment to astrobiology, perseverance is the first mission to collect and weld samples of Martian rock and regolith.

NASA-ESA’s subsequent mission – which will include a lander, rover, and launch vehicle – will be repatriated to retrieve these samples and bring them back to Earth for analysis. Last but not least, Sustainability it will be a means for human study of the Red Planet. These missions are expected to take place sometime in the 2030s and will be the first crew mission outside the Earth-Moon system in history!

Further reading: NASA