Third time lucky, NASA is expected to undertake groundbreaking research with its Mars Rover ‘Perseverance’ that will be crucial to terraforming the Red Planet.
- The rover is NASA’s third attempt to land on Mars.
- The Perseverance rover’s touchdown moment was a landmark step in the human endeavour to terraform the red planet.
- Now the rover and the Ingenuity helicopter that came down with it, are expected to answer crucial questions.
- The answers NASA seeks range from flights on Mars, instructure, human experience and weatherproofing.
- Findings from the Perseverance mission will help humans shape their future strategies for inhabiting Mars.
In the 90s, NASA made its first attempt at reaching the red planet with the Mars Polar Lander. However, the touchdown attempt in 1999 ended with the Lander crashing on the surface rather than landing. Phoenix was the second attempt in 2008 where it found buried ice on Mars during the mission. The descent camera for Phoenix was never turned on because it was thought to interfere with the EDL process (entry, descent, and landing). The Perseverance Rover is the NASA’s Mars 2020 mission that cost $2.7 billion. The mission has been off to a perfect start and has raised optimism about gathering tons of information crucial for future endeavours to our neighbouring planet.
Watch: NASA’s Perseverance rover touchdown on the Red Planet Begins search for alien life
The Perseverance rover will work on getting to speed for the first few days on the Martian soil. The robot’s power, thermal, and communications systems are yet to stabilize. Starting from the rover battery to many other instruments, the rover needs a health check and the team might be spending its next seventy-two earth hours on it. The MasterCam-Z camera system will soon be taking the first color panorama on Sol 3. Perseverance’s mission on Mars is to conduct astrobiology research that includes searching for signs of ancient microbial life, geology, past climate, and Martian rock paves the way for more human exploration.
How easy it would be to fly in the atmosphere of the Mars?
The Ingenuity helicopter is attached to the Perseverance rover and would be required to detach safely before beginning the powered flight attempt as a part of many other steps in the sequence. However, that would be possible only once the team finds a helipad location and performs a series of tests for the flight. The first flight may involve taking a few feet off the ground, hovering for up to thirty seconds, and landing. Further, the tests may involve incremental distance at a higher altitude. Ability to fly uninhibited is inevitable and an irreplaceable aspect of whatever infrastructure, research or other activities that humans initiate in future on Mars.
How it would be like to communicate on Mars?
The camera of the Phoenix was not even turned on owing to challenges in the EDL and the Perseverance rover is all set to give the world a real feel of Mars with a piece of how it sounds on the Red planet with the microphone on the SuperCam. The audio bytes paired with the video of Mars could be a clip that is going to be the first-ever real glimpse of the Red Planet for anyone on earth. Understanding the experience that Mars will offer to humans will sharpen the vision around how to create an economy on the planet.
How will we Weatherproof human structures on Mars?
A rock sample may do wonders to the mission considering a lot of details like the history of water interactions and chemical proof of life that can be retrieved from the rock coating. It will also mean more information on the water bodies and other weather-related questions can be answered. With the help of these answers, stakeholders of human terraforming on Mars will be able to understand what future human structures on the red planet would look like.
How humans will harvest Oxygen for breathing on Mars?
With the NASA Perseverance Rover’s science team monitoring, so many aspects, a bit of experimenting on Mars’ carbon dioxide to check if it can be converted into oxygen for breathing makes Nasa’s intention of sending astronauts to the red planet a lot more doable in the foreseeable future as it shapes its strategy for Martian terraforming.
What minerals and resources humans can expect on Mars?
From day sixty onward, the science team will have a pick on the mission that they choose; however, it depends on where the rover lands, which could be anything ranging from crater floor to the volcanic rocks. Perseverance will scoop its first sample and leave a cigar-sized tube on the surface of Mars for further sampling. Understanding the land and soil of Mars will be crucial to future projects at making Mars habitable for humans.
NASA has only Begun
With multiple challenges between the Polar Lander and the Phoenix, NASA has only begun its glorious journey of information, and future developments to be done with its Mission Mars. Thanks to NASA’s Perseverance Rover, hearing, and feeling NASA is not a distant dream to any of us. The Perseverance Rover’s successful landing brings with it the promise to open up a world of possibilities. The next few months and years would be interesting, with the valuable inputs to space enthusiasts from all over the world and some exciting bits of information for one and all.