Perseverance inspects potential runways on Mars for NASA spacecraft, what are the requirements?
NASA, in its planning for exploration on Mars, plans to bring some samples from the surface to Earth. It is part of the Mars Sample Return mission. The Perseverance rover has not only been tasked with taking regoliths, but also surveying possible tracks for spacecraft.
According to the US Aerospace Agency, the sites Perseverance is exploring are under consideration because of their proximity to the delta in Jezero Crater.
It is relatively flat land. suitable for the lander of the Mars Sample Return spacecraft.
And, who knows, in the future that place will be used for the arrival of astronauts in their colonization of Mars.
I’m a geologist, meteorologist, photographer, etc. Now I can add “location scout” to the list. I’ve been scoping out spots where Mars Sample Return spacecraft could set up operations – including the first launchpad on another planet.
Read more: https://t.co/6PN4RmBgjH pic.twitter.com/5Jo7X1DW0Q
— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) July 11, 2022
“I am a geologist, meteorologist, photographer, etc. Now I can add ‘location scout’ to the list,” NASA’s Perseverance rover account posted, uploading an image of the terrain in view.
The requirements for NASA’s runway on Mars
But what specifically is NASA looking for? Explains Richard Cook, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California.
“The Perseverance team went above and beyond for us, because Mars Sample Return has unique needs when it comes to where we operate,” said Cook. “Essentially, a ‘boring’ landing spot is good.”
“The flatter and more boring the view, the more we like it, because while there are many things to do when we arrive to collect the samples, tourism is not one of them,” stressed the scientist.
The area should not have large rocks, larger than 19 centimeters in diameter, or sand dunes or terrain with steep angles.
This would pave the way for an MSR recovery vehicle to efficiently grab the regolith tubes, before heading to the MSR Sample Retrieval Lander and its Mars Ascent Vehicle.
The sample transfer from Mars to Earth would occur in 2033
NASA planning called for a sample return lander to be sent to Mars in 2026. The return to Earth would occur in 2031.
This changed, to make improvements to the module, making it double. Now the scheduled release date is 2028, with a sample return date of 2033.
“A dual lander architecture can improve the likelihood of mission success,” NASA said in the White House federal budget request for 2023.