“The mission has 314 million miles of interplanetary space and seven minutes of terror to safely land on the surface of Mars,” Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s planetary science division, said in a statement. . “When we see the landscape in the Jezero Crater for the first time and really start to realize the scientific amount of before us, the fun really begins.”
The Perseverance and Ingenuity helicopter are securely attached inside an airbag protective capsule. The descent stage that helps the landing of the rover is also located in this airship, which is attached to the cruise stage, or the mission spacecraft.
The cruise stage is disc-shaped and powered by solar energy. It will travel more than 300 million miles to reach Mars.
While saving to Mars, engineers on Earth tell us about the spacecraft when they must perform correction maneuvers to keep it on the right path to Mars, as well as the target of its landing. The ground team will also perform checks on the instruments and subsystems in the spacecraft.
About 45 days before landing on Mars, the spacecraft enters the approach phase, with further correction maneuvers for its trajectory.
During what is expected to be a quiet trip to Mars, the Perseverance teams will be preparing and training for when the Rover lands on Mars. The science team must prepare the instructions it must send to a rover using its instruments on Mars.
Rover drivers will also work with a rover model on Earth to prepare for the journey of Perseverance across the Martian surface.
This includes using Earth Perseverance garlic to test the hardware, drive through Mars Yard at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and make sure the algorithms of automatic navigation work, said Heather Justice, a robotic downlink lead operation and one of the rover drivers at JPL.
“Seven minutes of terror”
The light time it takes for radio signals to travel from Earth to Mars is about 10.5 minutes, which means the seven minutes it takes for the spacecraft to land on Mars will happen without any help. or intervention by NASA teams on Earth.
NASA team members refer to this as the “seven minutes of terror.” They narrate the spacecraft when the EDL starts, (entry, descent and landing), and the spacecraft takes from there.
The spacecraft hits the top of the Martian atmosphere moving at 12,000 miles per hour and must slow down to zero miles per hour seven minutes later when the rover attacks the surface.
About 10 minutes before entering Martian’s thin atmosphere, the cruise stage launches and the spacecraft prepares for a guided entry, where the small thrusters on the airshell help adjust its angle.
The spacecraft’s heat shield withstands the highest heating of 2,370 degrees Fahrenheit 75 seconds after entering the atmosphere.
Perseverance is aimed at a 28-mile-old ancient lake bottom and river delta, the most difficult site yet for a NASA spacecraft landing on Mars. Instead of being flat and smooth, the small unloading site is filled with sand dunes, steep cliffs, rocks and small craters.
The spacecraft has two upgrades – called Range Trigger and Terrain-Relative Navigation – to navigate this difficult and dangerous site.
Range Trigger tells you when the parachute is 70.5 feet wide based on the position of the spacecraft 240 seconds after it enters the atmosphere. After the parachute is used, the heat shield is cut off.
Relative navigation on the ground acts like a brain for the rover, using cameras to take photos of the ground as it approaches quickly and determines the safest place to land. It could move the landing site up to 2,000 feet, according to NASA.
The back shell and parachute separate after the heat shield is discarded when the spacecraft is 1.3 miles above the Martian surface. Mars landing engines, which include eight ritrorockets, will stop to reduce descent from 190 miles per hour to about 1.7 miles per hour.
Then, there will be a famous sky crane maneuver that landed the Curiosity rover. Nylon cords will lower the rover 25 feet below the descent stage. After the rover touches down on a Martian surface, the ropes will come off and the descent stage will fly and move away at a safe distance.
On the surface of Mars
As soon as the rover is landed, the two-year Perseverance mission begins and will go through a “checkout” period to make sure it is ready.
The rover will send its mast and antenna, imagine its sight landing, perform a “health check” for its instruments, test its movement and “bend” its arm and perform a test short. Perseverance will also release her belly, which provided shelter for the Ingenuity helicopter stacked there during cruising and landing.
The rover will also find a nice, flat surface to bring down the Ingenuity helicopter so it has a place to use as a helipad for its potential of five test flights over a 30-day period. This occurs on the first 50 to 90 sol, or Martian days, of the mission.
Once Ingenuity is set on the surface, Perseverance will drive to a safe place in the distance and use its cameras to see Ingenuity’s flight.
After those flights, Perseverance will begin searching for evidence of ancient life, studying the climate and geology of Mars, and collecting samples that will eventually be returned to Earth through planned future missions.