Perseverance on Mars
So, yes, my name and my wife’s name are on this rover. And yes, I spent 3 and 1/2 hours watching the NASA feed of mission control as this Mission did the the incredible, not the impossible, but the possible!
Makes me so proud to be an American, and for the AMAZING engineering work done by NASA and all the folks involved.
Let me summarize the mission,
- 8 years of engineering, building, and testing.
- Launch on an ATLAS rocket, then travel 7 months, 300 million miles to another world.
- Then, while coming in extremely fastand HOT:
- Jettison the cruise stage, then
- Enter the Atmosphere, peak heating after 75 seconds to about 2700°F
- Start Slowing down from about MACH 29
- Perform Hypersonic Aero Manuevering
- Deploy parachutes
- Eject Heat Shield, Start taking pictures and radar ranging to look for safe landing space.
- Eject the back shell
- Start a Powered descent with a fricking JET PACK type system
- When you’re about 100 meters off the ground, drop the Rover on cables from a SKY CRANE!
- Set down on the surface of MARS, detach cables
- Allow the powered descent module to boost thrust and fly away to crash well away from the rover.
- Take some basic pictures and send them to a fleet of orbiting satellites who will relay them to Earth
- Watch silly humans cry with PRIDE!
Oh, and did I mention it also carries a helicopter on board?!?!?