NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has announced that the 2020 Mars Rover is going to explore the planet like never before. It plans to carry seven instruments to help explore and investigate the red planet. This project’s overall cost is estimated at $130 million. The overall mission of the 2020 Mars Rover is to collect samples from the planet and bring them back to Earth
The 2020 Mars Rover mission is scheduled to depart in July and is being called “The next step in the exploration of the red planet”. This journey is to try to discover the history of Mars and look for evidence of past microbial life. The mission will also take more rock samples as well as soil and store it on the planet in a cache. It will get as many samples as possible and return them to Earth when completed. Thomas Zurbuchen stated “Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life”.
The Rover is expected to land in a site called Jezero Crater that is known for having very rich terrain. Geologists have concluded that that site has landforms that go back 3.6 billion years ago. Jezero Crater is on the Western side of Isidis Planitia, which is a giant basin north of the Mars equator. The crater is 28 miles wide and is said to be one of the oldest and most interesting landscapes that Mars has because it had a river and lake there many years ago called Delta.
Scientists are hoping to discover ancient preserved organic matter and any sign of microbial life as well as soil samples and sediments. The lake Delta is supposed to have at least five different types of rocks, clays, and other carbonates. Another hope scientist has to find is from a large watershed which may contain many new types of minerals from the crater.
The crater has shown great challenge for the engineers for the 2020 Rover due to the craters landscapes. The Rover must be capable of maneuvering in different types of soil as well as being able to move up sprouting landscapes as well as navigating the terrain.
NASA has added a new team to the project called TRN (Terrain Relative Navigation) This team is working on the rocket that carries the rover to be able to avoid potentially dangerous or hazardous areas on the planet.
James Ruether who is deputy associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission is very proud of all that has happened so far on this project and what is yet to come ‘We are excited that NASA’s Space Technology Program is partnered with Human Exploration and the Mars 2020 Rover Team to demonstrate our abilities to harvest the Mars atmosphere and convert its abundant carbon dioxide to pure oxygen,This technology demonstration will pave the way for more affordable human missions to Mars where oxygen is needed for life support and rocket propulsion.’
The Mars Exploration Program within NASA is hoping to understand the planet’s system which includes past, present, and future planets environment, climate cycles, geology, and biological potential. In addition to this NASA is developing future spacecraft to bring mankind to the red planet, which cannot be done without the hopeful future success of the 2020 Mars Rover.
The 2020 Mars rover is also working with previously launched Rovers that will assist the new rover. A Rover already working on the red planet called Insight is getting samples from the interior of Mars and is a key factor in why the 2020 Mars Rover is in effect, without our current data of the planet future possible results would not be possible. And this Rover is in development to many projects before this one.
The 2020 Mars Rover is one of the most advanced future mission of this time in my opinion. The 2020 Mars Rover is working on a whole other planet that will build our knowledge of the planets past, present, and future. It will be working on collecting samples of both solids potential liquids and gasses. I think this is amazing that NASA is trying to learn more about the planet and hopefully get mankind to journey to the planet one day. If this is successful it will be “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. – Neil Armstrong
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