NASA has recently announced more details on its brand new Mars rover, which they named Perseverance. This fancy vehicle has many different design aspects and most of them very complex, so let’s take a look at some of the components, as well as NASA’s goal.
The space agency has set its view on the red planet and hopes to find some explanations to many of their unanswered questions. The dusty planet that we all know Mars to be used to be much different in the past.
NASA has set some goals for Perseverance, these are the key ones:
- Collect rocks and dirt samples to send back to Earth
- Look for pieces of past microbial life
- Send an experimental drone
- Identify the weather conditions and geology of Mars
NASA plans on maintaining Perseverance on Mars for a mission that will last a year, but this will most likely be extended due to their history with rovers such as Curiosity and Opportunity.
Perseverance is packed with many new instruments to help it achieve its mission on the planet, here are some of the most important:
MOXIE: The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment is one of the first steps to preparing humans to go to Mars. This apparatus will convert the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into oxygen. This is crucial since it will allow future humans to have a source of oxygen from which to breathe. It can also be used to make propellant for rockets since the astronauts will need a way back home somehow.
SuperCam: The SuperCam is an instrument made up of lasers, spectrometers, and cameras that work together to analyze organic compounds of the planet. The SuperCam is able to determine the specific material from a distance of 7 meters. This is crucial to the mission since it is the main way to determine whether there was past microbial life on Mars.
Mastcam-Z: This is the camera system that Perseverance will use to know its surroundings, similar to the eyes of humans. Its primary objective is to take high-quality videos and photos, panoramic angles, and 3D images of the surface of Mars. It also comes with a zoom lens to capture objects at large distances.
NASA has engineered a technology to be used on the large red planet, a brand new helicopter designed to be flown on the Martian atmosphere. The helicopter, called Ingenuity, will be tucked in under Perseverance and will ride for a few months until it reaches the desired destination. The rover will down place it down and move away from it, allowing it to begin its mission. Ingenuity will be the first attempt of trying to fly a powered machine on another planet. This objective is very high-risk high-reward since there has been no previous attempts at something like this, but NASA is hopeful that the small helicopter will soar high and open a new path to exploring new planets.