Perseverance: The next Mars science adventure.
In July NASA will launch the 2020 Mars mission. The launch window is set from the 20th of July to August 11, in which period the Earth and Mars will have the shortest distance between them. Great things are expected from this mission and I will certainly follow this mission close.
The Mars 2020 mission which will leave Earth on top of a two-stage Atlas V-541 launch vehicle, provided by United Launch Alliance. The Atlas rocket is able to generate a staggering 1,688.4 kN (379,600 lbf) of thrust and will bring the mission to Mars in about 7 months.
The Perseverance science lab has a remarkable generator, the Multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator or “MMRTG” for short which will keep the vehicle operational throughout its stay on Mars’s surface. The propellant used is Plutonium (IV) oxide (O2Pu) and the rover is carrying 4,8 kg on board which will produce the heat converted into electricity. The lifespan of the generator is expected to be 14 years. Opposite to the Curiosity rover which is powered by solar panels the Perseverance will be able to operate at all times and during all seasons on Mars. The rover weighs in at over a ton(1025 kg). You will be able to view this picture in resolution 7170 x 4410 by clicking the image.
The drone named Ingenuity that Perseverance is carrying to Mars is powered by a 350 watt/0,47 hp motor and weighs 1,8 kg. NASA will probably be able to gain a lot of experience that they can use for the Dragonfly Mission to Titan in 2026.
The Graph shows the distance between Earth and Mars throughout the years and seasons. the distance that the Mars 2020 mission have to travel is 62 million kilometers 🙂