NASA’s Perseverance Rover will attempt to land on the most difficult terrain ever targeted on Mars tomorrow and this video breaks down what’s involved.
All landings on Mars are difficult, but NASA’s Perseverance rover is attempting to touch down in the most challenging terrain on Mars ever targeted.
The intense entry, descent, and landing phase, known as EDL, begins when the spacecraft reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere. Engineers have referred to the time it takes to land on Mars as the “seven minutes of terror.”
The landing sequence is complex and targeting a location like Jezero Crater on Mars is only possible because of new landing technologies known as Range Trigger and Terrain-Relative Navigation.
The Perseverance rover is set to land on the surface of Mars on February 18, 2021.
NASA previously landed their Spirit and Opportunity rovers using balloons, but I guess they wanted to show off their fancy new gadgets this time. For Perseverance they’re using an onboard guidance system to actually navigate to a decent spot before lowering the rover using a sky crane like they did with the Curiosity rover. Personally, I would’ve just doubled the amount of balloons, but my science education is from watching Inspector Gadget so what do I know?
Keep going for the full video. You can watch the live broadcast of the landing tomorrow starting at 11:15 a.m. PST / 2:15 p.m. EST.