NASA: Perseverance (Mars 2020) - Next Generation Rover

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Perseverance Getting in Shape for Launch

Post by bystander » Fri May 08, 2020 3:07 pm

Perseverance Getting in Shape for Launch
NASA | JPL-Caltech | Perseverance | 2020 May 07
Stacking spacecraft components on top of each other is one of the final assembly steps before a mission launches to the Red Planet.

Engineers working on NASA's Perseverance rover mission at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida have begun the process of placing the Mars-bound rover and other spacecraft components into the configuration they'll be in as they ride on top of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The launch period for the mission opens on July 17 — just 70 days from now.

Called "vehicle stacking," the process began on April 23 with the integration of the rover and its rocket-powered descent stage. One of the first steps in the daylong operation was to lift the descent stage onto Perseverance so that engineers could connect the two with flight-separation bolts. ...

On April 29, the rover and descent stage were attached to the cone-shaped back shell, which contains the parachute and, along with the mission's heat shield, provides protection for the rover and descent stage during Martian atmospheric entry. ...
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Perseverance: Trials by Fire, Ice, Light and Sound

Post by bystander » Sat May 23, 2020 7:06 pm

Perseverance Goes Through Trials by Fire, Ice, Light and Sound
NASA | JPL-Caltech | Perseverance | 2020 May 18

The agency's new Mars rover is put through a series of tests in vacuum chambers, acoustic chambers and more to get ready for the Red Planet.

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
While auto manufacturers built over 92 million motor vehicles for this world in 2019, NASA built just one for Mars. The Perseverance Mars rover is one of a kind, and the testing required to get it ready to roll on the mean (and unpaved) streets of the Red Planet is one of a kind as well.

Because hardware cannot be repaired once the rover is on Mars, the team has to build a vehicle that can survive for years on a planet with punishing temperature shifts, constant radiation and ever-present dust. To ensure readiness, they put Perseverance through a test program tougher than the trip to Mars and the environment it will encounter once there.

"Mars is hard, and everybody knows that," said project manager John McNamee of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. "What they may not realize is that to be successful at Mars, you have to test the absolute heck out of the thing here on Earth." ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Air Deliveries Bring Perseverance Closer to Launch

Post by bystander » Sat May 23, 2020 7:15 pm

Air Deliveries Bring Perseverance Closer to Launch
NASA | JPL-Caltech | Perseverance | 2020 May 21

A NASA Wallops Flight Facility cargo plane transported more than two tons of equipment - including the rover's sample collection tubes - to Florida for this summer's liftoff.
Progress continues to speed along as NASA's Perseverance rover readies for its launch this summer. On May 11, the rover team at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida received the tubes tasked with holding the first samples collected at Mars for eventual return to Earth. A week later, the Atlas V launch vehicle that will hurl Perseverance to the Red Planet arrived at the launch site. Working together, personnel from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and United Launch Alliance in Centennial, Colorado, were also able to extend the rover's launch period by six days, from Jul. 17-Aug. 5 to Jul. 17-Aug. 11.

The sample tubes will be filled with Martian rock and sediment and deposited on the planet for a future mission to return to Earth to be studied. They're part of the rover's Sample Caching System, the most complex and capable mechanism of its kind to be sent into space to address the question of potential life beyond Earth.

The tubes and their seals were among the nearly 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of mission flight hardware, test gear and equipment that traveled from JPL to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. On May 10, the equipment was loaded onto a C-130 cargo plane from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The following day, the crew set out for Florida, touching down on Kennedy Space Center's Launch and Landing Facility a little before 3 p.m. local time. They were back at Wallops that evening.

A week later, on May 18, a giant Antonov cargo plane delivered the first stage of the mission's Atlas V launch vehicle, arriving at Kennedy Space Center just after 4 p.m. local time. The following day the booster was transported to the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Once final testing is complete, the Atlas will be moved to the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41, where preparations for the launch of Perseverance have begun following the successful Atlas V launch of the USSF-7 mission on May 17. Next, the Centaur upper stage and the payload fairing, which protects the spacecraft during launch, will be stacked on top of it. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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The Detective Aboard Perseverance

Post by bystander » Tue May 26, 2020 6:34 pm

The Detective Aboard NASA's Perseverance Rover
NASA | JPL-Caltech | Perseverance | 2020 May 26
Mars is a long way from 221B Baker Street, but one of fiction's best-known detectives will be represented on the Red Planet after NASA's Perseverance rover touches down on Feb. 18, 2021. SHERLOC, an instrument on the end of the rover's robotic arm, will hunt for sand-grain-sized clues in Martian rocks while working in tandem with WATSON, a camera that will take close-up pictures of rock textures. Together, they will study rock surfaces, mapping out the presence of certain minerals and organic molecules, which are the carbon-based building blocks of life on Earth.

SHERLOC was built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which leads the Perseverance mission; WATSON was built at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. For the most promising rocks, the Perseverance team will command the rover to take half-inch-wide core samples, store and seal them in metal tubes, and deposit them on the surface of Mars so that a future mission can return them to Earth for more detailed study.

SHERLOC will be working with six other instruments aboard Perseverance to give us a clearer understanding of Mars. It's even helping the effort to create spacesuits that will hold up in the Martian environment when humans set foot on the Red Planet. ...

SHERLOC's full name is a mouthful: Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals. "Raman" refers to Raman spectroscopy, a scientific technique named after the Indian physicist C.V. Raman, who discovered the light-scattering effect in the 1920s. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor