The announcement that NASA will return to the Moon in 2020 has been on the lips of many people, but the US space agency is working hard on several projects which should be launched in the following years. One of them is the Mars 2020 rover, and the project is progressing at an excellent pace.
Engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have reached a new milestone after they successfully attached the remote sensing mast on the rover. The event took place at the High Bay 1 located at Spacecraft Assembly Facility. The full integration of the mast is an essential process since it includes the calibration of the valuable scientific instruments present on the rover, the electrical wiring which should provide the required energy and a series of tests.
After the rover reaches the end of the interplanetary journey, it will begin an accelerated descent towards the surface of the planet. During this process, the mast will remain in a secure flat on the deck of the rover.
Mars 2020 Mission Would Launch in July 2020
Upon touchdown, the remote sensing mast, which measures an impressive 7 feet, or 2.2 meters, will be used to provide an ideal perch for three instruments: the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer, the SuperCam, and the Mastcam-Z. If everything goes according to plan, the launch will take place in July 2020 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station located in Florida. The rover should reach the Jezero Crater by February 18, 2021.
One of the most surprising tools carried by the rover is a new sample-caching array which should be able to recover samples of rock and soil on the surface. The samples will be stored on the rover, and they will be collected by subsequent missions. Unlike previous models, this rover will also have the ability to retarget a designated landing point while the landing sequence is in progress.
It is thought that NASA will establish a permanent base on the Moon by 2028, and the vanguard will be used to send other missions towards distant targets.
Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.