When a female astronaut first sets foot on the moon 2024,
The historic moment will represent a step towards another NASA first: eventually
put people on Mars. NASA's latest robot mission to the Red Planet, Mars
2020, aims to help future astronauts brave the ineffective landscape.
Although the science goal of the March 2020 rover should look
for signs of old life – it will be the first spacecraft to collect samples
of the Mars surface, caching them in tubes that could be returned to the earth
on a future mission – the vehicle also contains technology that paves the way
for human exploration of Mars.
Crazy Engineering explores a technological demonstration aboard NASA's March 2020 rover out of science fiction novels such as "The Martian." It is an oxygen generator called MOXIE, which is designed to transform carbon dioxide – which represents about 96% of the Martian atmosphere – into breathable oxygen.
The atmosphere on Mars is mostly carbon dioxide and extremely
thin (about 100 times less dense than the earth's), without breathable oxygen.
There is no water on the surface to drink either. The landscape freezes,
without protection from the sun's radiation or from transient dust mud. The
Keys to survival will be technology, research and testing.
March 2020 will help on all these fronts. When it is started
In July 2020, the spacecraft holds the latest scientific and technological developments
tools that come together as are rover
built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. here is
a closer look.
Every landing on Mars offers a learning opportunity. With Mars
2020, which includes how the spacecraft's heat shield and parachute
perform in the planet's atmosphere, and how well the radar can sense it
approaching the surface. Sensors in the spacecraft aerosol (the canister as
enclosing rovern) will study how it heats up and is performed under atmospheric entry.
Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation 2 (MEDLI2) Sensors can help engineers improve their landing
design for large payloads as astronaut equipment and habitats.
Landing a rover like this also gives NASA more
experience putting a heavy spacecraft on Mars; the challenge of
landing in the thin marten atmosphere dares with mass. The first crew
spacecraft will be titanic compared to portable life support
system, supply and shielding.
Finally, March 2020 has a
guidance system that takes a step towards safer landings. Called Terrain
Relative navigation this new system shows where
Spacecraft is on its way by taking camera pictures during descent and matching
landmarks in them to a preloaded map. If the spacecraft goes against dangerous
terrain, it will divert to a safer landing target.
Terrain-related navigation allows the 2020 team to
choose a landing site, Jezero Crater,
It was considered too risky for previous assignments. This kind of autonomous
Guidance can prove to be essential for landing people safely. It would also be useful
to land equipment in several drops in front of a human crew.
Living on Mars requires a steady supply of oxygen,
which would be expensive to transport from the soil in the required volumes. A cube-shaped
unit called Marshallens
In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) explores a space-saving alternative that converts
carbon dioxide – which constitutes about 96% of Martian's atmosphere –
into acid. Although MOXIE is a small scale
Demonstration, the hope is that its technology can develop into larger and larger
more efficient oxygen generators in the future. They would allow astronauts to
create their own breathing air and would provide oxygen to burn rocket fuel
needed to return people to earth.
More importantly, MOXIE's
descendants would save precious space on the first crew to Mars. Not
just that would lead to more room for deliveries, it could also reduce the cost and
Difficulty getting from Earth to Mars.
Satellites around the red planet check regularly
underground with radar, but March 2020 carries a radar that penetrates the earth
called Radar Imager
for Mars & # 39; Subsurface Experiment (RIMFAX) which will be the first to run on Mars
surface. March 2020 researchers use their high-resolution images to watch
buried geology, like old sea beds. But one day such a radar could be used
to find underground ice stores that astronauts could access to give tips
water. Jezero Crater is unlikely to have such caches, but many exist
Other on Mars.
Dust and radiation are part of every Martian weather
forecast. Dust blows everywhere, adheres to spacecraft and covers the sun
panels. And because the earth does not have a magnetic field that the earth does,
The sun's radiation baths over Mars. The paths of the Earth and Mars path
adapt best for interplanetary travel every two years, which means the first
The astronauts on the red planet are likely to endure long exposures to radiation.
To help engineers design space bags to protect astronauts
from the elements, NASA sends five samples of space color material together
with one of the March 2020 scientific instruments, called Scanning
Existing environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics &
Chemicals (SHERLOC) . A piece of an astronaut's helmet and four
Fabrics of fabric are mounted on the calibration
target for this instrument.
Scientists will use SHERLOC, as well as a camera that photographes visible light,
to study how the material is broken down into ultraviolet radiation. It will mark
The first time space color material has been sent to Mars for testing and will provide
an important comparison for ongoing testing at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
People exploring Red
The planet will need more than good room features; They need a place to live. March
2020 will gather science that can help engineers design better protection for
future astronauts. Like NASA's curiosity rover and InSight lander, 2020 has
weather instruments to study how dust and radiation behave in all seasons. This
Sensor suite, called > the
Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) is the next step in the type of weather science
More information about Mars
2020 is at:
News Media Contact
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
NASA Headquarters, Washington