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NASA Perseverance

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

NASA Perseverance:


Context:

After a seven months’ journey from Earth, the NASA Perseverance is in its final stretch towards destination Mars.

About the Perseverance rover:

  • Launched on July of 2020.
  • It is expected to touch down on Mars at the Jezero Crater.
  • The primary task of Perseverance is to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and reglolith to possibly return these to Earth.
  • Perseverance is fueled by electrical power by using heat of plutonium’s radioactive decay.
  • NASA Perseverance gets shape memory alloys to remain steady on surface of Mars.
  • Armed with drills, cameras and lasers, Perseverance is set to explore Mars.

Why is this mission significant?

  1. Perseverance will carry a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment: which for the first time will manufacture molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere (ISRU means In Situ Resource Utilization: or the use of local resources to meet human needs or requirements of the spacecraft).
  2. It will carry Ingenuity, the first ever helicopter to fly on Mars. This is the first time NASA will fly a helicopter on another planet or satellite.

Previous Mars Missions by NASA:

  1. NASA has been sending rovers on Mars since 1997 when the Mars Pathfinder Mission was initiated.
  2. As the mission turned out to be successful, NASA decided to continue going to Mars to find evidence.
  3. Second time, the space organization sent twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity to Mars in 2003.
  4. The third attempt was by sending Curiosity in 2012.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Missions to Mars.
  2. Perseverance- objectives.
  3. Instruments onboard.
  4. About the UAE’s Hope and China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft.
  5. Pathfinder mission.

Sources: the Hindu.