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The Perseverance Rover Launches to Mars

Mars,Perseverance,Helicopter
Erik Kuna
John Kraus
Chris Gebhardt
August 01, 202006:08 AM
Supercluster

Erik Kuna for Supercluster

Mars is hard. The global success rate of missions to the Red Planet is just 48%, yet NASA has a seemingly impossible 88% success rate when it comes to landing rovers or science platforms on our neighboring world. Only one NASA Mars landing attempt out of nine has failed.

The U.S. space agency seeks to continue that track record with the Perseverance rover.

Quick View: ULA ATLAS V - 541

Launch Mass

516,000 kg

Solid Boosters

4

Main Engine

RD-180 Russian engine

Max Thrust

2,1811.2 kN

Success Rate

100%

The most notable element of the mission is that it's the first expedition to Mars in which a robotic emissary will be primarily tasked with seeking out evidence of past life.

The mission will also carry the first helicopter to fly on another world in our solar system. The copter, named Ingenuity, will largely test helicopter technology that will be needed for the upcoming mission to Titan while also scouting locations for Perseverance to focus its investigation

Ingenuity

Ingenuity, will largely test helicopter technology that will be needed for the upcoming mission to Titan while also scouting locations for Perseverance to focus its investigation.

Landing Site
Jezero Crater, Mars
Mass
1.8 kg (4 lbs)
Height
80 cm (31 inches)
Mission Duration
30 days
Mars Landing Date
February 18th, 2021

Ingenuity is built to last at least 30 days and will be used early on in Perseverance’s mission.

After liftoff from Cape Canaveral, it will take the rover and helicopter seven months to reach Mars.

Perseverance will use the same “Seven Minutes of Terror" entry and landing profile that its cousin rover, Curiosity, used when it arrived on Mars in August 2012.

Those critical minutes will begin when Perseverance slams into the Martian atmosphere at 5.9 km per second. During this phase, temperatures outside the protective heat shield will climb to 2,100° C.

A hypersonic parachute will then deploy to slow the rover before Perseverance drops out of the bottom of its protective shell and free-falls toward the Martian surface for a few seconds.

Perseverance

Perseverance will be the first Mars rover launched with the possibility of having humans visit it on the Red Planet within its operational lifetime.

Launched
July 30th, 2020 at 7:50 am EDT
Landing Site
Jezero Crater, Mars
Mass
1,025 kg (2,260 lbs)
Science Payloads
7
Mars Landing Date
February 18th, 2021

A retrorocket landing pack mounted to the back of Perseverance will then fire to bring the rover to what is basically a stable hover 7.5 meters above Mars’ surface.

From here, a skycrane winch will lower Perseverance to the surface before the retrorocket pack flies off for a crash landing a safe distance away.

Perseverance will then call home, telling its controllers it survived landing and is ready for checkouts.

The mission is designed to last at least two Earth years but carries enough propellant to continue for over a decade if its science instruments continue to function properly.

Given proposed SpaceX timelines for human Mars exploration, Perseverance will be the first Mars rover launched with the possibility of having humans visit it on the Red Planet within its operational lifetime.

Supercluster

Erik Kuna for Supercluster

Supercluster

Erik Kuna for Supercluster

Supercluster

Erik Kuna for Supercluster

Supercluster

Erik Kuna for Supercluster

Supercluster

John Kraus

Supercluster

John Kraus

Erik Kuna
John Kraus
Chris Gebhardt
August 01, 202006:08 AM