#astronomy Mars 2020 rover stands by itself in pre-launch milestone – Astronomy Now

October 28, 2019 - Comment

This time-lapse video, taken on Oct. eight, 2019, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, captures the primary time NASA’s Mars 2020 rover has carried its full weight on its legs and wheels. “After years of design, evaluation and testing, it’s implausible to see the rover on her wheels for the primary time,” stated


This time-lapse video, taken on Oct. eight, 2019, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, captures the primary time NASA’s Mars 2020 rover has carried its full weight on its legs and wheels.

“After years of design, evaluation and testing, it’s implausible to see the rover on her wheels for the primary time,” stated Ben Riggs, a mechanical programs engineer engaged on Mars 2020 at JPL. “The entire staff appears to be like ahead to seeing her in the identical configuration on Mars within the not too distant future.”

The rover’s legs (the black tubing seen above the wheels) are composed of titanium, whereas the wheels are made from aluminium. Measuring 20.7 inches (52.5 centimetres) in diameter and machined with traction-providing cleats, or grousers, the wheels are engineering fashions that might be changed with flight fashions subsequent yr. Each wheel has its personal motor. The 2 entrance and two rear wheels even have particular person steering motors that allow the automobile to show a full 360 levels in place.

When driving over uneven terrain, the rover’s “rocker-bogie” suspension system – known as that due to its a number of pivot factors and struts – maintains a comparatively fixed weight on every wheel for stability. Rover drivers keep away from terrain that will trigger the automobile to tilt greater than 30 levels, besides, the rover can deal with a 45-degree tilt in any course with out tipping over. It might additionally roll over obstacles and thru depressions the dimensions of its wheels.

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover. Picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Mars 2020 rover was photographed within the Simulator Constructing at JPL, the place it underwent weeks of testing, together with an in depth analysis of how its devices, programs and subsystems function within the frigid, near-vacuum surroundings it can face on Mars.

JPL is constructing and can handle operations of the Mars 2020 rover for NASA. The rover will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in July 2020 from House Launch Complicated 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Pressure Station. NASA’s Launch Companies Program, primarily based on the company’s Kennedy House Heart in Florida, is liable for launch administration.

When the rover lands at Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021, it is going to be the primary spacecraft within the historical past of planetary exploration with the flexibility to precisely retarget its level of landing through the touchdown sequence.

 



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