NASA’s Mars rover is hours away from a nail-biting landing attempt

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After zipping hundreds of millions of miles through space, the Mars rover Perseverance is just hours away from attempting to land on the red planet in what has been described as one of the most daring robotic maneuvers in NASA’s history.

Carberry said the mission could reveal tantalizing new details about Mars’ history and geology. But first, Perseverance has to stick its landing. And that will be no small feat.

Like its predecessor, Curiosity, the Perseverance rover’s descent to the Martian surface has been dubbed the ‘seven minutes of terror.’ This is because a complex sequence of programmed events must occur at precise times in order for the landing to be successful. And because of limits with deep-space communication, engineers in NASA’s mission control may not be able to follow along in real time.

Publisher: NBC News
Date: Thu Feb 18 2021 16:33:06 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Twitter: @NBCNews
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The First 100 Days on Mars: How NASA’s Perseverance Rover Will Begin Its Mission

The 1,025-kilogram rover is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, fueled by heat from decaying plutonium, which should help it avoid a dust-laden fate such as prematurely ended the missions of its solar-powered predecessors Opportunity and Spirit; but getting up and running as soon as possible after the landing is still crucial. The rover has an ambitious amount of science to conduct in its primary mission lasting one Martian year (two Earth years). And, although its mission is likely to be extended, given the overwhelming richness of its landing site in the ancient Martian river delta within Jezero Crater, scientists are eager to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.


Publisher: Scientific American
Author: Jonathan O
Twitter: @sciam
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Watch as NASA lands its Perseverance rover on Mars

Having traveled 293 million miles since its launch in July last year, the rover is now gearing up to execute the Solar System’s most grueling parking job ever. At around 3:48PM ET, Perseverance will begin its wicked seven-minute descent toward the Martian surface, hitting the planet’s atmosphere at speeds of roughly 12,100 miles per hour before being calmly deposited in a messy jungle of cliffs, massive boulders, and dangerously sandy pits at Mars’ Jezero Crater.

In that fully autonomous landing sequence, the spacecraft carrying Perseverance will endure blazing heat, ditch its protective shell, and deploy a set of parachutes. As it approaches the surface, the spacecraft’s descent stage will fire onboard thrusters to slow itself down to a sedate 2 mph and hover some 66 feet above the surface. Then comes the ‘skycrane’ technique: the descent stage, still firing its six mini rocket thrusters, will gently lower Perseverance on cables the rest of the way to the surface. Once the rover touches down, it’ll snip its cables, prompting the descent stage to take off, eventually landing far away from Perseverance.

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Publisher: The Verge
Date: 2021-02-18T10:00:00-05:00
Author: Joey Roulette
Twitter: @verge
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NASA’s Mars Rover Landing: Launch Time, Streaming and Details

Touchdown is expected around 3:55 p.m. Eastern time. NASA Television will begin broadcasting coverage from the mission’s control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California at 2:15 p.m.

During the descent, the spacecraft will send updates on how it is doing. Because its main antenna will not be pointing at Earth, its direct communications will just be a series of simple tones.

‘We can use those tones to tell us different things, like the heat shield has come off or something like that,’ Allen Chen, the lead engineer for the landing part of the mission, said during a news conference on Wednesday.

Publisher: www.nytimes.com
Date: 2021-02-18T05:38:07.000Z
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It’s landing day on Mars! NASA’s Perseverance rover will touch down on the Red Planet today

Perseverance will broadcast information back in high-definition 4K, set aside promising rock samples for a sample-return mission and launch the first interplanetary helicopter ‘ all while photographing, laser-targeting and investigating targets in the ancient delta of Jezero Crater.’

You can watch the Mars landing live here and on Space.com’s homepage, courtesy of NASA, beginning at 2:15 p.m. EST (1915 GMT). The landing is expected at 3:55 p.m. EST (2055 GMT).’

Publisher: www.space.com
Date: 2021-02-18T12:11:06Z
Author: Elizabeth Howell
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NASA rover Perseverance hurtles toward historic landing attempt on Mars

Perseverance, the most advanced astrobiology lab ever flown to another world, was headed for a self-guided touchdown inside a vast, rocky basin called Jezero Crater at the edge of a remnant river delta carved into the red planet billions of years ago.

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles hope to receive confirmation of the landing, and possibly a first image from the rover, shortly after its arrival, set for 12:55 p.m. PST (2055 GMT). Those transmissions will be relayed to Earth from one of several satellites already in orbit around Mars.

What makes Jezero Crater’s terrain – deeply etched by long-vanished flows of liquid water – so tantalizing to scientists also makes it especially treacherous as a landing site.


Publisher: U.S.
Date: 2021-02-18T11:03:32Z
Author: Steve Gorman
Twitter: @Reuters
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Greetings Earthlings: We are out of our element The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. It should be alright to step abroad. It is safe.