NASA Perseverance Rover to Hunt for Past Life on Mars

NASA Perseverance Rover to Hunt for Past Life on Mars

Perseverance, also nicknamed “Percy”, is a Jet Propulsion Laboratory manufactured latest in the line of rovers for the NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. It was launched on July 30, 2020, for the Mars mission at 7:50 a.m. EDT(11:50 UTC) from Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, and the expected to land on February 18,2021, around Jezero Crater.

The Design!

Perseverance rover includes seven instruments. It has 23 cameras in total, and two microphones with helicopter ingenuity helping the rover to scout various locations. It is car-sized, 10 feet long (not including the arm), 9 feet wide, and 7 feet tall (about 3 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall). But at 2,260 pounds (1,025 kilograms), it weighs less than a compact car. In some sense, the rover parts are similar to what any living creature would need to keep it “alive” and able to explore. It has thicker and more durable aluminium wheels, which are covered with cleats for better traction and spokes for springy support. The width is reduced and the diameter increased compared to the previous curiosity rover.

The power generator (MMRTG) uses 4.8 Kilograms of plutonium dioxide for a steady supply of heat which produces equivalent to 110 watts at launch with a decrease over the mission time. With inbuilt two lithium-ion rechargeable batteries to meet various demands of the rover. The MMRTG provides better controllability for engineers against dust storms and night time where sun rays are practically not there to power up the solar panels. The rover’s computer uses the BAE RAD750 radiation-hardened single board computer containing 128  MB of DRAM and 133 MHz speed. The flight software can go upto 4 GB of NAND non-volatile memory on a separate card.

The Perseverance Rover Has The Following Parts:

body:a structure that protects the rover’s “vital organs”
brains:computers to process information
temperature controls:internal heaters, a layer of insulation, and more
“neck and head”:a mast for the cameras to give the rover a human-scale view
eyes and ears :cameras and instruments that give the rover information about its environment
arm and “hand”:a way to extend its reach and collect rock samples for study
wheels and legs:parts for mobility
electrical power:batteries and power
communications:antennas for “speaking” and “listening”
Source: NASA

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