Purpose of the Mars Perseverance Rover
NASA’s Mars Perverance rover is on the way to Mars to find out if life ever existed there.
Perseverance will collect samples to try to find fossils, organic material, and more.
What will Perseverance Rover do?
The rover will land on Mars on February 18, 2021.
Landing in Jezero crater, an ancient lake the size of Lake Tahoe, Perseverance rover will explore riverbeds which appear to have provided inflow and outflow of the lake, as well as delta deposits.
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The Jezero crater is of particular interest because it represents the possibility that Mars had water about 4 billion years ago.
Perseverance rover 60-second summary:
NASA also has a website dedicated to the official updates for Perseverance Rover.
What technology does Perseverance have?
- The stage that brings it to Mars uses hypergolic chemical propellants
- Perseverance has 23 cameras with 20 megapixel color, 2 microphones, UV laser, Xray spectrometer
- This is the first time we will have audio data (via the microphones) from a celestial object.
- During descent a camera will scan the terrain and heat shields will protect it from friction temperatures of 2100 deg. C
- After landing the sky crane will fly away but crash into the surface nearby
- Self driving 200 meters per day, perseverance will run for 14 years, powering itself on a 45kg Radio-isotopic thermal electric generator, converting heat from plutonium-238 into electricity.
- Perseverance rover carries a system to test oxygen production on Mars, called MOXIE. Oxygen production on Mars is an important part of in-situ resource utilization, which humans must take on if we are to ever colonize the red planet.
- Perseverance also has a 4 pound drone helicopter and coring drill to search for microbial fossils.
- NASA redesigned the wheels from Curiosity to avoid getting stuck, featuring a wider diameter and smaller tread-width.
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- additional info: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/