NASA’S ANOTHER MILESTONE: THE LANDING OF PERSEVERANCE
HOW TO LAND PERSEVERANCE
Start this by firing a powerful rocket to take it off the ground. The window for going to Mars comes every 26 months. It takes a journey of almost 7months to reach the red planet. Then comes the horrific part of EDL (Entry, Descent, and Landing) which lasts 7 minutes and is considered the hardest part of the whole mission.
It is significantly harder because the signal to reach one way from Mars to Earth takes about 11 minutes 22 seconds and the EDL only takes approximately 7 minutes. If the rover were to send any command for course correction or any anonymous signal it will be too late before we send any signal back to the rover.
INGENUITY: MARS’ FIRST HELICOPTER
This time Perseverance is packing a show stopper in the form of ingenuity. This is the first time any kind of flying machine is being sent outside of Earth. Due to the debut of the machine, it has been tested heavily.
It will primarily be used for surveillance of the terrain ahead for the rover. It has a very short flight time duration of 90 seconds. It may seem too little but any flying on another planet for the first time seems forever. The total weight of the helicopter stands at a mere 1.9 kg.
The job of the ingenuity is quite difficult as it has to fly in the 1% atmosphere of Mars, along with an average temperature of -59°C. The only positive thing is that it has work in 38% of the gravity as compared to Earth.
WHY THIS IS HISTORIC FOR NASA
This is the start of a series of missions that NASA has planned over the coming years. The futures missions will be built on the findings of Perseverance. As a matter of fact, Perseverance is built on the footsteps of the Curiosity rover which was launched in 2012.
In consequence, the Perseverance will not only study the red planet rather it will send samples as well. Besides one main arm in the front, it has another arm in the belly which is invisible. This invisible arm will collect samples and will store them for future missions to collect and send back to Earth.
- The Perseverance is about 100 kg heavier and slightly bigger than Curiosity.
- Unlike the previous rover, Perseverance’s wheels are made up of aluminum and not of some fancy metal that you’ve never heard before. Also, it is doesn’t have the morse code of JPL written on its wheels.
- For the first time ever we are sending the rover with a helicopter named Ingenuity.
- Mars has 1% of the atmosphere and 38% of the gravity of Earth.
- The average temperature on Mars is about -59°C.