A Launch Vehicle Atlas V With The Perseverance Rover Launched From The Cape Canaveral Spaceport
The Atlas V launch vehicle with the Perseverance Rover launched on Thursday from the Cape Canaveral space center (Florida). The broadcast is available on the website of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The main goal of the Rover, which is expected to reach the surface of the red planet on February 18, 2021, is to search for traces of microorganisms in the Yezero crater. As noted at a briefing on the eve of the launch, NASA Director Jim Bridenstine, previous research shows that 3 billion years ago on Mars there was an active atmosphere, there was water, the surface of the planet was protected from the effects of solar radiation.
The six-wheeled scientific laboratory, the size of a small car, which was spent about $2.5 billion to create, has the following dimensions: length-about 3 m without taking into account the mechanical arm-manipulator, width-2.7 m, height-2.2 m. the Mass of the Rover is 1,025 kg.
The device, which was thoroughly sterilized before launch in order not to bring terrestrial microorganisms to Mars, is equipped, in particular, with a radioisotope thermoelectric generator powered by plutonium dioxide and two lithium-ion batteries. The Rover is also equipped with an Ingenuity helicopter, which can make up to five short flights at an altitude of up to 10 m from the surface during the entire research period. Besides, Perseverance has scientific tools created by scientists from France, Spain, and Norway.
Using a 2.1 m long remote manipulator, the Rover will collect 40 soil samples, which NASA hopes will be returned to Earth by another vehicle in 2031.