Atlas V rocket launched the spacecraft of the mission “Mars 2020” Rover “Perseverance” and the first alien helicopter “Ingenuity”. One of the main tasks of the Rover will collect soil samples, which a few years will take the next mission and will return to Earth in 2031. The arrival of a spacecraft on Mars is scheduled for the second half of February 2021. Stream launch took place on the YouTube channel of NASA.
Currently on Mars there are two apparatus, both of the development of NASA: stationary station, InSight and Curiosity, successfully operating on the planet since 2012. New Rover “Perseverance” based on the same platform, but its mission is different from the “Curiosity”. It will search for organic compounds, potentially indicating the presence of microorganisms in the past or present, to explore the climate of Mars and to attempt to synthesize oxygen from the atmosphere.
Another important task of the “Perseverance” part refers to future missions: it will collect soil samples, which in 2026 will arrive on the next Martian spacecraft NASA, who will take the samples collected for the first time in the history will take them back to Earth. The second unit of the mission “Mars-2020” — the helicopter “Ingenuity” — also noteworthy: if he is able to rise into the air, it will be the first controlled atmospheric flight outside of the Earth. In addition to checking the possibility of flight in the Martian atmosphere it also will be the exploration of the surface around the Rover. Read more about the goals and structure of the mission “Mars-2020” can be read in our article “Mars return”.
For sending machines to Mars meets Atlas V rocket of United Launch Alliance. It started with the US air force base at Cape Canaveral on 30 August at 14:50 Moscow time. In less than an hour migratory platform with devices, heat shield and lander must separate from the rocket and make a flight to the destination.
The arrival of the vehicles is scheduled for February 18, 2021. Planting will take place in the crater Lake, in a place which was formerly an estuary. As “Curiosity”, “Perseverance” first, will slow down the heat shield, then parachutes, and for the final part of landing is to answer “sky crane” platform with rocket engines that will hang low above the surface and pull the apparatus on the ropes. The nominal lifetime of the mission after landing is one year, but in fact, if the Rover will not encounter insurmountable technical difficulties, his work will continue.
A week before the “Perseverance” to Mars went the first Chinese mission “Tangwani-1”, consisting of the Rover, the lander and the Orbiter. She, too, will arrive at the planet a week before the American unit, but will sit down later him in April. And on July 20 was launched on the first of the Martian satellites the United Arab Emirates. In addition, this summer was to start a European- mission “Eczemas” with the Rover, but its launch had to be postponed for two years due to technical flaws and the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which has prevented their correction.