Category : Technology
The Mars 2020 rover will fly to the Red Planet as early as July next year. NASA has great hopes for discovering life on this mysterious planet. The robot will be the first to make the deepest boreholes in the ground.
For now, the rover is undergoing final tests. Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, participating in its construction, for the first time in the history of the project carried out the rover's ride on its six wheels. The robot overcame several obstacles. In this way, scientists wanted to check if all the elements fit well under load. The wheels made of aluminum are really test dummies. Next year they will be replaced with real ones.
The process of construction and testing of the rover is carried out in a very restrictive manner, in accordance with the guidelines for planetary protection. The device must be in sterile conditions. If it is found on Mars and micro-organisms remain on its elements, it may contaminate Mars with Earth's biological life, and this may threaten the study of this planet. If a rover discovers some life forms there, we will never know if they are original Martian or terrestrial organisms.
The two front and rear wheels are equipped with steering servos, so that the rover can rotate around. This ability allows scientists to maneuver better in the rocky area of exploration, and most importantly, protect the rover from damage. The new NASA robot is larger and more advanced than Curiosity, which is a rover currently moving on Mars.
The most important improvement will be a drill with the help of which it will be possible to drill wells in the ground and take rock samples. Then they will be tightly packed and can be picked up for future missions and delivered to Earth for more thorough research. Interestingly, the Polish Space Agency will participate in this breakneck venture.
In addition to the rover, a drone will also appear. Such devices can explore this barren world much faster and more efficiently than satellites and rovers. The Curiosity rover has been on Mars for 7 years, and at that time he managed to travel only about 25 kilometers. The drone will be able to cover this distance in one day, thus providing very valuable information about the geological and atmospheric past of this object. Perhaps this way you will be able to spot the traces of life faster.