The moon landing marked a significant era of humankind. Before that, the idea of experiencing life out of our planet Earth was just a fantastic plot of a sci-fi movie. Apollo 11 made it to the moon about 50 years ago and brought back humanity’s first-ever sample from a celestial body other than Earth itself. Now half a century later, the new Mission Mars 2020 is set to do the same and much more for Mars. The mission addresses advanced, high-priority science goals for exploring the fourth planet of our solar system for sample collection and major astrobiology questions about the chances of Mars becoming habitable in the next years.
The mission is not directed towards taking the same steps that were made in the past to find out if the planet is habitable but to seek more advanced ways of searching for signs of old microbial life itself through the rover called the Perseverance.
The Extraordinary Mission of Mars 2020 Rover
Here we have highlighted the consequent events of the ingoing extraordinary mission of Mars 2020.
Part of the Mars Exploration Program
Mars 2020 is technically a Mars rover mission designed by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort extended to conduct a humanless, robotic exploration of the red planet. Formed back in 1993, MEP has been led by NASA over the years and made use of orbital spacecraft, landers, and rovers to explore the possibility of finding life on Mars. It is directed to find the planet’s climate changes and natural resources enough to make use of them to sustain life as we know it.
Many people misunderstand and assume that a rover is a single spacecraft with a single specific mission as a part of the Mars Exploration Program. The truth, however, is that there are many parts to the rover, and it extended mission profiles alongside other systems and aircrafts involved. Mission Mars 2020 revolves around the Perseverance rover, which is the successor to the successful Mars Science Laboratory mission and its rover The Curiosity.
The Curiosity Rover
The car-sized rover was designed as part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission in 2010 to explore the crater Gale on the red planet. It was launched from Cape Canaveral on 20th November 2011 and landed inside Gale on Mars on 6th August 2012. The objectives of the spacecraft include the investigation of the climate and the overall geology of Mars. Curiosity was a more specific version of Mars exploration limited only to the Gale crater for finding if there ever was microbial life, has it ever offered environmental conditions to sustain one and investigate the role of water, planetary habitability, and other studies to prepare for human arrival.
The Perseverance Rover
NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission is all set to collect the very first samples from our neighboring red planet. These subsequent missions back and forth from Earth will set the tone for many more advanced missions of the future as the rover will not rely on astronauts to complete this trip. The Perseverance Rover will depend on the most complex yet clean mechanism designed ever to be sent into outer space known as the Sample Caching System.
Ingenuity is a robotic helicopter that has been designed to test the technology that will help gather study material and potential targets to dictate the Perseverance. The aircraft will travel together with the rover in the same launch and deploy it from its deck as it lands. It will fly away up to five times the land on a 30-day test campaign initially in the mission after the landing. The aircraft will use autonomous control and stay in communication with the rover.
The EDLS or the Entry Descent and Landing System is the core of the rover’s successful journey. It includes the aeroshell, parachute, descent vehicle, and a sky crane beside the Perseverance rover itself. You can buy dissertation on the topic for more in-depth knowledge.
The Perseverance rover will use the most efficient design mechanism called Sample Caching System to collect samples from the red planet. There are a total of 43 sample tubes at the heart of the sample collecting system. 39 of the 43 sample tubes were loaded besides the storage assembly that will hold them in place aboard the rover at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The remaining four tubes have already been loaded across different locations of the system as they mark the final steps being taken to prepare for the opening of the Perseverance rover’s launch period on 17th July.
The Cost Involved
The Perseverance rover mission and the launch have an estimated cost of about $2.1 billion compared to the predecessor Curiosity, which costs $2.5 billion in total. The reason as to why the rover is far more advanced yet cheaper is that the availability of the spare parts made it more affordable. To keep this mission more affordable and the risks as lower as possible, the Mars 2020 design was made based on the successful model of the Curiosity by NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission’s architecture, and it’s highly successful landing. The goal was just to make it more advanced, expanded, and affordable than its predecessor.
All in all, the world today stands at a still point waiting for results of this mission to dictate any further explorations and possibly the future of the humankind getting to choose to move to a different planet. Mars has been the closest choice that we have if we want to find a potential planet-B to extend life forces. Therefore, it is essential to succeed for NASA as they are on the verge of creating the future. The Perseverance rover is all set with a planned launch on 17th July 2020 and to touch down at the Jezero Crater on Mars 18th February 2021.
Author Bio: Amanda Jerelyn is currently working as a Lifestyle Blogger at Dissertation Assistance, the best assignment writing service. She is a single mother working from home for the most part. She likes to write about her opinions and experiences on her blog, where she has gained a significant network of audiences.