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Get your ass to Mars. NASA's next gen rover to land on the red planet today.


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There will be lots of internet (and probably television) coverage of this mission today.  See here for NASA's streams.  This is a notable mission because it's based on the same platform as the 2012 Curiosity Rover, but with many upgrades, including a deployable helicopter, sample collection (for eventual return to Earth), a tech demo to make breathable oxygen from the CO2 atmosphere, and more instrumentation to search for signs of life.  

 

This is a high stakes mission that has a reasonable chance of failure, so temper your expectations.  Since Mars is currently ~130 million miles away from Earth, there is a considerable time delay between the two planets, so any data we get actually happened about 11 minutes prior.  Also the data transfer rate will be very limited, so there will be very few pictures seen today.  Within a few days, they hope to have full motion video (with sound) of the entry, descent, and landing.  

 

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EYES.NASA.GOV

 

Interactive map showing you Perseverance's current location and status.  As of 9:16 AM Pacific, it's about 20,000 miles away from Mars, and is accelerating as it falls into Mar's gravity well.  It is currently travelling around 6500 MPH, but will enter the atmosphere around 12,000 MPH. 

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Just a reminder that they launched a (relatively) tiny piece of metal from the surface of the earth, which traveled to and landed on a body that was (at the time of landing) 130 million miles away (further than the Sun), and that body is traveling at well over 50 thousand miles per hour relative to the sun.,

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41 minutes ago, SilentWorld said:

I didn’t realize they’re planning on returning samples to Earth. That’s really cool. 

 

To be clear, they are only collecting samples on this mission.  This rover has no capability of returning them.  The plan is to collect dozens of samples in hermetically sealed vials over the next few years, then the rover will shit them out in an area easily accessible by a future rover.  That rover will then collect them, transport them to a small rocket, and that rocket will return the samples to Earth. 

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Image taken from the rover's jetpack as the rover descends on cables to the planet surface.  Note the dust being kicked up from the rocket exhaust.  After the rover has confirmed it is on solid ground, it cuts the cables to the jetpack, and the jetpack flies away until it expends all of it's remaining fuel, and then crash lands off in the distance.  

 

25609_1-PIA24428-1200.jpg

 

This image was released at today's press conference, and they hope to download more high res photos, and maybe video and audio as well over the weekend. 

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On 2/19/2021 at 12:10 PM, mclumber1 said:

Image taken from the rover's jetpack as the rover descends on cables to the planet surface.  Note the dust being kicked up from the rocket exhaust.  After the rover has confirmed it is on solid ground, it cuts the cables to the jetpack, and the jetpack flies away until it expends all of it's remaining fuel, and then crash lands off in the distance.  

 

25609_1-PIA24428-1200.jpg

 

This image was released at today's press conference, and they hope to download more high res photos, and maybe video and audio as well over the weekend. 

 

Did we get any audio yet? I want to hear what Mars sounds like.

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5 minutes ago, Jason said:

Curiosity is still going BTW. 

 

It will likely break it's wheels before it ever actually completely fails.  With plutonium as a power source, it should have usable levels of electrical power for at least another 10 years. 

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1 minute ago, Jason said:

 

lol it sounds like wind. You can hear wind on Earth. Waste of taxpayer money. Sad. 


 I know for as much as they spent on this thing you would think they would have sprung for a higher quality dead cat to get rid of the wind noise. 

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