NASA Will Launch Mars 2020 Mission To Learn More About The Red Planet

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Before reaching the goal of sending humans to Mars, NASA will be launching its 2024 Moon mission that will see the first female astronaut land on the surface. With Mars 2020 having the goal of assisting astronauts by coping with the environment, even before they arrive. The main objective of the mission is to conduct surface exploration. The Rover will be directed to expose signs of ancient life, collect biological samples that need to be returned to Earth for analysis that could help in the human-crewed Mars mission.

The Red Planet’s atmosphere is inhospitable for humans, reaching very high carbon dioxide levels with no breathable oxygen, as its atmosphere is coming in at 100 times lesser than Earth’s. There is no surface water for consumption, the temperatures are mostly below freezing, and there is no safeguarding organic matter from solar radiation.

People working on space exploration are in a constant state of learning and breaching the atmosphere will give valuable insight into the heat shield, parachute, and radar technology. Sensors designated as Mars Entry Descent and Landing Instrumentation 2 (MEDLI2) will provide engineers with information regarding their designs for later, more substantial entries. The 2020 spacecraft will benefit from new technology named Terrain Relative Navigation that has the purpose of scouting for favorable terrain during descent to ensure a safe landing.

Mars 2020 would reveal more details on Mars and its characteristics

The Martian weather forecast says dust. Lots of it. As well as deadly solar radiation due to a lack of a magnetic field on the planet. Five samples of materials that could be used for the suits are being sent to the planet on the 2020 mission, accompanied by an instrument called SHERLOC or Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals. Mars 2020 would equip a device that will study the degradation of said materials under ultraviolet radiation.

Oxygen might be the biggest concern for the mission, as it is for space travel in general. As it will be challenging to ship it from Earth, a carbon dioxide converter alternative is being developed called MOXIE or Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. If the technology pans out, it will solve many problems on the mission, including sustainability storage and costs.

There is no water to be found on the surface despite continuous observations, so MARS 2020 will use RIMFAX ( Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment ) to carry out ground penetrating radar surveys. Scientists hope this will allow them to uncover underground lake beds or underground ice that would enable astronauts to gather the necessary material.


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