After a journey of almost seven months, NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, with the Perseverance rover on board, will land on Mars next Thursday with the ambitious goal of searching for remains of ancient life for the first time. With the countdown running, tension is at its highest at the US space agency’s control center.
By: Judith de Jorge | ABC
Engineers and researchers finalize the details of the final stretch and evaluate a possible correction of the trajectory of the spacecraft to choose the optimal atmospheric entry point. From there, the vehicle will begin the descent and will face the so-called ‘seven minutes of terror’, the short but dizzying time that it will take to perform complex maneuvers until it lands on the ground.
Hundreds of things can go wrong and Perseverance will have to do them completely autonomously, without the teams on the ground knowing if it has succeeded until eleven and a half minutes later. In addition, it will test two new technologies never before used on the red planet.
Landing on Mars is quite a feat. Only 40 percent of the missions sent by any space agency have succeeded. The site chosen for the Perseverance, the size of a small car and similar to its Curiosity predecessor, is Jezero Crater.
Read the full note at ABC.
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