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Perseverance and Ingenuity are the main components of the MARS 2020 mission and if everything goes as NASA has planned this afternoon they will land on the surface of Mars. It will be the first time that the space agency offers the transmission in Spanish of a robotic landing on another planet and it can be followed live from 8:30 p.m. (Spanish time).
MARS 2020 is an essential project for the arrival of humans on Mars and the subsequent colonization process. The overall objective is to investigate the geological processes of Mars and assess the habitability of the planet, looking for signs of existence of life and checking if there has been any case of preservation of bioforms in geological materials.
On July 30, 2020, an Atlas V rocket set off for Mars with the new robotic vehicle that will explore the red planet. It’s called Perserverance, and it’s a six-wheeled mobile science lab that will follow in the footsteps of previous Martian rovers like Curiosity, Vision, Spirit, and Opportunity. Its main mission is the search for microbial life. The rover will take samples that will be preserved for recovery in future missions.
Perseverance is equipped with the same exoskeleton as its Curiosity predecessor and features seven main instruments, including the Mastcam-Z that will be the eyes of the rover with its panoramic and stereoscopic cameras with a new zoom system. SuperCam is another of the main ones, it can operate remotely and is in charge of taking images, performing chemical composition analysis and mineralogy.
Also included is a spectrometer, a chemical and organic environment analyzer (SHERLOC) and a high resolution imager to map the composition of the top layer of the planet. QPerhaps the most interesting instrument for future manned missions is the one dedicated to oxygen search (MOXIE), with the mission of show that oxygen could be produced from carbon dioxide found in the Martian atmosphere.
Another of the main instruments is the so-called PIXL. A device the size of a small toolbox at the end of the two-meter-long robotic arm installed in the rover, and inside that box is a high-power X-ray emitter that will be used to analyze the chemical elements of the surface of Mars. Thanks to its small size and high precision, PIXL can be used to analyze elements as small as a grain of salt and thus determine the nature and origin of the elements analyzed.
If Perseverance is the star of the mission, Ingenuity is the newest. It is little more than a drone At two kilograms in weight and 1.2 meters in size, it is one of the most interesting scientific payloads of the new Martian exploration mission. It is bound and protected in Perseverance’s belly during its descent to the red planet and will be deposited on the surface below it.
Once on the ground, you will run a health check and your solar panels will begin charging your batteries. If all goes as planned, its two rotors will start spinning twin propellers at 2,400 revolutions per minute, it will soar over Mars, and its two cameras will begin taking pictures in the skies of the red planet.
Its importance lies in the fact that it will be the first time for such an air vehicle to be deployed on a planet outside of Earth. That will be its most important contribution: demonstrating that flight on Mars is possible as a valuable contribution to other types of exploration and paving the way for other drones of greater dimensions and possibilities.
NASA will offer the live broadcast (and in Spanish) of the landing in the great Jezero crater with 45 kilometers wide. Perseverance and Ingenuity must survive the EDL (entry, descent and landing) maneuver. It only lasts seven minutes, but it is complicated because the load must brake from a speed of 20,000 km / h. NASA will begin the public broadcast at 11 am PST on all media platforms like the link we leave you on YouTube. More information | MARS 2020