NASA’s sequential spacecraft is just days away from a daring seven-minute landing on the surface of Mars, where it will land on the most demanding terrain of the Red Planet mission.
February 18 Insist on the size of the car – the basis of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission – Try to land in the 45-kilometer-wide Jizera crater. Entry, disembarkation and disembarkation The EDL phase of the Mars mission is often referred to as the “seven minutes of horror” because the sequence is extremely terrifying and runs much faster than radio signals from Mars reach Earth. This means that the spacecraft will become on its own as soon as it enters the atmosphere of Mars – and a new NASA video shows how the spacecraft will achieve such an amazing feat.
“The universe has always had the opportunity to throw lone balls and surprise us,” said Swati Mohan, Orienteering, Navigation and Surveillance Operations, 2020. March. At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California. He says in the video. – There are several things that must happen for the Earth to be safe.
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The EDL phase begins when the spacecraft reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere and ends with a rocket celestial elevator to safely reduce endurance on the planet’s red surface. The entire EDL sequence takes about seven minutes, in which many critical steps need to be performed. On Thursday, the stakes on Mars 2020, which will seek clues about ancient life and collect examples for the first humanity, are very high. Interplanetary campaign to return.
“A lot depends on that,” says Al Chen of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is entering Mars 2020 and in the descent and landing. “This is the first stage of the relay race – a lot of work is at stake.”
Just before arriving on the red planet, Perseverance will abandon the cruise that has helped transport the ship to Mars for the past 6.5 months. The next big stage is Enter the atmosphereWhen a ship sails through the Martian sky at a speed of about 12,100 miles per hour (19,500 kilometers per hour).
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The spacecraft has a heat shield that protects the rover from the strong heat generated during the first landing and helps to slow down the speed of the spacecraft. About 11 km (11 km) above the surface, the spacecraft will place 21.5 meters A supersonic parachute – According to the video, most have ever been sent to another planet.
After a short time Heat shield This will move away from the spacecraft, first relentlessly launching the atmosphere of Mars and triggering a system of relative navigation system in the field, a new autopilot technology that will steer the ships to a safe landing on Mars.
“Perseverance will be the first task with relatively off-road navigation,” Mohan says in the video. “While falling with a parachute, you will actually photograph the surface of Mars and decide where to go based on what you see. Finally, it’s like landing with your eyes open – the presence of this new technology actually allows for perseverance in landing on terrain that’s much harder than Curiosity or any previous mission to Mars. ”
Pictures: NASA’s Mars sounding mission
The EDL maintenance sequence is very similar to NASA Wandering curiosity, Which landed in 2012. However, perseverance is slightly higher and is equipped with more advanced scientific tools, including new technology that will help steer the spacecraft into a difficult landing.
Scientists believe the lake, which is 250 meters deep, is full Crater Lake About 3.9-3.5 billion years ago. There are also well-known river deltas in this area, where water once flowed and many sediments settled. Although this landing site offers geologically rich terrain, cliffs, caves and cliffs are very difficult to withstand.
“The research team identified Lake Crater Island as the foundation of an ancient lake and one of the most promising places to find evidence of ancient microbial life and collect samples to return to Earth in the future,” said Matt Smith of JPL, JPL Manager of the Year, 2020. March. Operations, as he says in the video. “The problem is, it’s a much more dangerous place to land.”
The last minute before perseverance landed on the red planet, a mission Celestial crane descent Eight helicopters or landing engines will be launched on Mars. The traveling crane is then safely lowered to the ground by means of three nylon ropes. When the spacecraft lands, it will cut the cables connecting it to the landing step, which will then fly and land safely from the path.
“Surviving seven minutes is really just the beginning of perseverance,” Chen says in the video. “His job is to be the first stop in returning samples; to go looking for signs of past life on Mars – it can’t start until we can safely endure on Earth, then the real mission begins. ”
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