mars red planet Perseverance

Critical 7 minutes of “Perseverance”

Critical 7 Minutes Of “Perseverance”

The American Space and Aviation Administration released an animation showing how the spacecraft Perseverance, weighing a ton, will land on Mars on February 18.

The vehicle will be sent to the Jezero crater and will search for possible past life evidence. There are a number of maneuvers required for the vehicle to land on Mars. This whole series of maneuvers is called “seven minutes of terror”.

A lot of things have to go right in a very short time. If things don’t go well, it could open a huge hole in the Red Planet.

Everything seen in the animation has to be done by the computers in the Perseverance. This is the main point.

The landing maneuver begins at the altitude where the Red Planet reaches the first layers of its atmosphere. The vehicle is protected inside the capsule and approaches the first layers of the atmosphere at a speed of 20 thousand kilometers per hour.

The landing system needs to reduce this high speed to less than 1 meter per second, in less than 400 seconds.

Most Of The Work Is Done With The Heat Shield.

As the capsule penetrates deeper into the Martian air, the temperature rises to more than 1000 degrees Celsius, but at the same time, the friction slows down the rate of drop greatly.

Thanks to a supersonic parachute that opens from the rear shell of the capsule, the speed of it is reduced to 1200 kilometers per hour. It travels for about 1 more minute with the 21.5-meter-wide supersonic parachute and thus the entry speed is slightly reduced.

At 2 kilometers to the Mars surface, the speed drops to 100 meters per second, and Perseverance declines with the “air winch”. It then begins to float just above the surface with the help of eight rockets. Nylon cables are used to lower the reconnaissance vehicle to the surface.

At the moment of contact with the ground, Perseverance must break the cables so that it does not drift with the air crane that is supposed to fly at a safe distance and destroy itself.

NASA Mars JPL Perseverance Rover
Source: NASA/JPL

We Will Have An Uneasy Wait Due To The Time Difference.

The landing is scheduled for the afternoon at Mars time. At this point, how long a radio signal reaches Mars from Earth gains importance … This time is roughly 700 seconds …

This actually means that when we receive the message, Perseverance will have already successfully or unsuccessfully completed the task.

The reconnaissance vehicle will record all these maneuvers and landings with cameras and microphones, and if successful, the recordings will send them to the world later.

Do not forget to save the date of 18 February 2021 in your calendar.

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