After overcoming a tense landing phase on Thursday, NASA’s persistent rover took a step further in its search for traces of past lives.
At 3:55 pm Eastern Time (2055 GMT) the operations were led by Swati Mohan. “Touchdown confirmed,” when the joy of mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
In fact, the autonomous process was actually completed more than 11 minutes earlier, in the long time it took for radio signals to return to Earth.
Shortly after landing, the rover sent its first black and white images, revealing a rocky outcrop at the landing site in Jazero Crater, just north of the red planet’s equator.
More images, video of the descent and perhaps the first sound of Mars ever recorded by microphones are expected in the coming hours as it connects the rover to data overhead satellites.
US President Joe Biden praised the “historic” program.
He tweeted, “Today proves once again that with the power of science and American simplicity, nothing is out of the realm of possibility.”
During a press call, NASA Associate Administrator Thomas Zarbuchin tore up the theatrical landing phase emergency plan to emphasize how good the conditions were, and acknowledged that he was in the moment. Embracing people out of emotion is a violation of the Quad Protocol.
In the coming years, Sustain will try to collect 30 rocks and soil samples in sealed tubes, which will eventually be sent back to Earth sometime in the 2030s for lab analysis.
About the size of the SUV, the craft weighs a ton, is equipped with a seven-foot (two meter) long robotic arm, 19 cameras, two microphones and a set of advanced equipment to help achieve its scientific goals. Is.
Before he could end his lofty struggle, he first had to overcome the “seven minutes of terrible terror” – the dangerous entry, descent and landing phase that accounted for almost half of all missions to Mars. Halfway through.
The retreating spacecraft was taking care of itself in the Martin atmosphere at 12,500 miles (20,000 kilometers) per hour, which is protected from its heat shield, then it fired an eight-engine jetpack. First deployed a supersonic parachute the size of Little League Field.
Finally, he carefully lowered the rover to the ground on a set of cables.
Alan Chen, lead engineer of the landing stage, said that a new navigation system called “Terrain Relative Navigation”, which uses a special camera to identify surface features and compare them with a ship’s map, is one of scientific interest. Landing in rugged terrain was key.
“We’re in a nice flat place, the car is tilted just 1.2 degrees,” he said. “We have successfully located this parking lot, and have a safe rover on the ground.”
Scientists believe that about three and a half billion years ago there was a river in this crater that flowed into a deep lake and accumulated sediment in a fan-shaped delta.
In a geographically important area, NASA scientist Ken Farley said the stability landed two kilometers (one mile) southeast of the delta.
Mars was hot and humid in the past, and while previous research has determined that the planet was habitable, Stability has been tasked with determining whether it was actually inhabited.
It will begin excavating its first specimens in the summer, and along the way it will deploy new equipment to scan organic matter, map out chemical composition, and study zipper rocks for fever.
Despite the latest technology, bringing the specimens back to Earth is a major problem because of the expected ambiguity in the specimens in its documents.
For example, fossils produced by ancient microbes are suspiciously similar to those caused by rain.
Flying in another world
Before reaching the main mission, NASA wants to conduct several eye-catching experiments.
Under the belly of perseverance is a small helicopter drone that will attempt the first power-powered flight to another planet in a few weeks.
The easily doubled atmosphere must be raised to an atmosphere that is one percent of the Earth’s density, demonstrating the idea that humans could revolutionize the way they explore other planets.
Another experiment involves a device that can convert oxygen from Mars’s primarily carbon dioxide atmosphere, like a plant.
The idea is that after all humans don’t need to carry their oxygen on hypothetical future trips, which is also important for rocket fuel and breathing.
The rover is still the fifth to put its wheels on Mars. This feat was first performed in 1997, and it has been American.
The United States is also preparing for the final human mission to the planet sometime in the 2030s, although planning is still in its infancy.