NASA’s Mars 2020 mission aims to help astronauts confront the inhabitable environment, and the robotic rover which will look for signs of life is starting now to catch a shape slowly.
Engineers from the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, where the rover is being built, have incorporated the head-like support on the probe which is set to take off to the Moon in July 2020.
The robot features a suspension system and a pair of wheels, both systems installed on Thursday, June the 13th. The suspension system is durable; however, the wheels will ultimately fall off, but they will be substituted by the flight versions after Mars 2020 will be transferred to Florida. The rover will take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on Florida’s Space Coast, JPL representatives said.
Engineers reportedly installed the tool-packed mast on June the 5th in a JPL clean room.
NASA representatives stated on June the 14th that the total incorporation of the mast, a process that features attachment of science instrument sensors, electrical wiring, and checkout, took place in the following week, terminating on June the 11th.
The mast, which measures 7-foot in length (2.2 meters), will travel to Mars attached on the rover’s body, which has the size of a car. The mast will be removed after Mars 2020 lands inside Jezero Crater in February 2021.
The crater once had a river delta on its surface. Mars 2020 will explore the geology of the region, search for evidence of life on the Red Planet, and execute a multitude of other science tasks. The robot will also gather and store samples for a future return to Earth, although NASA has yet planned no recovery mission.
Mars 2020 rover will also examine various new exploration technologies; for instance, a small helicopter will be on board of the rover to help evaluate the inspection potential of rotorcraft. Also, one of Mars 2020 rover’s tools will produce oxygen from the planet’s fine, carbon dioxide-prevailed atmosphere, a technology that would undoubtedly benefit future astronauts touching the surface of Mars and other planets.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca