Landing On Mars - News Burst Special Edition

Landing On Mars

The Mars Rover Perseverance has almost completed its 293-million-mile (473-million-kilometer) journey to its new home, the Red Planet. In July 2020, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched Perseverance from America’s Multi-User Spaceport.

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Landing On Mars – Update 20:57 UTC

Landed on Mars

 

Landing On Mars - Atmospheric Entrance

Landing On Mars – Update 20:40 UTC

Atmospheric Entry

As the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere, the drag produced drastically slows it down – but these forces also heat it up dramatically. Peak heating occurs about 80 seconds after atmospheric entry, when the temperature at the external surface of the heat shield reaches about 2,370 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1,300 degrees Celsius). Safe in the aeroshell, however, the rover gets up to only about room temperature.

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/entry-descent-landing/

 

Landing On Mars - Atmospheric Entrance

Perseverance Rover’s Entry Descent Landing Profile

Landing On Mars

Now, Perseverance will touch down on Mars to begin its mission of exploring the Martian surface and seeking evidence of ancient life on Mars.

Perseverance is scheduled to land on February 18, 2021 at approximately 20:55 UTC at Jezero Crater. Key timings for Perseverance’s landing:

    • Contact with atmosphere: 20:48 UTC
    • Parachute deployed: 20:52 UTC
    • Powered descent: 20:54 UTC
    • Wheels down: 20:55 UTC
Landing On Mars - Perseverance Rover's Entry Descent Landing Profile

Perseverance Rover’s Entry Descent Landing Profile

Landing On Mars

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Perseverance will sift and drill into the sediments to look for traces of ancient microbial activity. The most propitious examples will be packaged for return to Earth by later missions.

Of the 14 landing attempts at the planet, eight have been successful – all of them American. Indeed, NASA has only got it wrong once, way back in 1999.

Landing On Mars - Perseverance Rover

Perseverance Rover

Landing On Mars

Jezero Crater

Jezero is named after a town in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In some Slavic languages the word “jezero” also means “lake” – which should explain the fascination.

This 500m-deep bowl once saw huge volumes of water flow in through the western wall to pool on the crater floor.

Landing On Mars - Jezero Crater

Jezero Crater

Landing On Mars

Where the water entered, it even deposited sediments to form a delta. Perseverance will try to land next to this feature.

Jezero displays multiple rock types, including clays and carbonates, that have the potential to preserve the type of organic molecules that would hint at life’s bygone existence.

Mars Ingenuity

One of the wildest aspects of the Perseverance mission is that it will include a helicopter. The small helicopter, named Ingenuity, will ride on the rover’s belly until NASA finds a suitable spot to release it for a test flight.

This image shows the flight model of the helicopter in early 2019. NASA considers Ingenuity a high-risk, high-reward technology demonstration. If it works, it will be a stunning achievement in flight on another planet.

NASA [Not A Space Agency]

Landing On Mars - Mars Ingenuity Helicopter

Mars Ingenuity Helicopter

Landing On Mars

News Burst 12 May 2020 – Live Feed

News Burst 12 May 2020 – Live Feed

A member of the Iranian parliament has disclosed that “270 billion rials (6 million €) of people’s money” was paid to the United Kingdom as compensation for damages incurred in an attack by hardliners on London’s embassy in 2011 in Tehran. If you own a Xiaomi smartphone or have installed the Mi browser app on any of your other brand Android device, you should enable a newly introduced privacy setting immediately to prevent the company from spying on your online activities.

News Burst 10-11 May 2020 – Live Feed

News Burst 10-11 May 2020 – Live Feed

Earth is about to cross a fold in the heliospheric current sheet, a vast wavy structure in interplanetary space separating regions of opposite magnetic polarity. The crossing, called a “Solar Sector Boundary Crossing,” is expected on May 11th and could trigger geomagnetic activity around Earth’s poles.

News Burst 8-9 May 2020 – Live Feed

News Burst 8-9 May 2020 – Live Feed

A struggle is underway in interplanetary space. The contestants are Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) vs. the solar wind. The comet has an extremely long tail–wider then 20 full Moons–and this gives it lots of exposure to the solar wind. The result is evident in this extraordinary image from Gerald Rhemann of Farm Tivoli, Namibia.

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