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Old 18-06-2020, 11:03 AM
gary
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Cool NASA Perseverance Mars rover ready for July 20th 2020 launch date

Quote:
Originally Posted by NASA
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover is just over a month from its July 20 targeted launch date. The rover's astrobiology mission will seek signs of past microscopic life on Mars, explore the geology of the Jezero Crater landing site, and demonstrate key technologies to help prepare for future robotic and human exploration. And the rover will do all that while collecting the first samples of Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust) for return to Earth by a set of future missions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NASA
Significant challenges come with the territory when planning a Mars mission. In the case of Perseverance - the heaviest payload yet to go to the Red Planet - those included implementing an entire test project to confirm the soundness of their parachute design. There was also an extensive effort to hone the performance of the rover's Sample Caching System, the most complex and the cleanest mechanism ever sent into space. But of all the hurdles faced by the men and women of Perseverance, the coronavirus pandemic provided the greatest challenge, with safety precautions requiring much work to be done remotely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NASA
No matter what day Perseverance lifts off during its July 20 to Aug. 11 launch period, it will land in Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. Targeting landing for one specific date and time helps mission planners better understand lighting and temperature at the landing site, as well as the location of Mars-orbiting satellites tasked with recording and relaying spacecraft data during its descent and landing.
Attached to the Perseverance Mars rover is a 8-by-13-centimetre
aluminium plate commemorating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
and which pays tribute to the perseverance of healthcare workers around
the world.

Full press release here :-
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2020-114

Quote:
Originally Posted by NASA
Owing to planetary alignment, the only time to launch a large payload to Earth's second closest planetary neighbor occurs just three weeks out of every 26 months. If Perseverance doesn't make it off the launch pad before the end of this launch opportunity, the project will have to wait until September 2022 to try again.
The Perseverance team transitioned 90% of its work to be done from homes to make the 2020 launch window.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NASA
The agency approved use of its C-20 aircraft at Armstrong for transport of mission-critical JPL staff from California.

....


Preflight by Smartphone

While the direct flights have been indispensable, some members have not been able to take them, despite being essential to inspections.

"Just like a pilot does a preflight inspection before going up, we have a 'walkdown' of the spacecraft, where subject matter experts who are most intimate with the workings of a particular spacecraft system get one last chance to spot anything that might be wrong or could be made better," explained Wallace. "We would not launch without the ability to complete these inspections."

So the project's imaging scientist, Justin Maki, brought the spacecraft to them. Maki is an expert at obtaining pristine HD-quality images from the surface of Mars. Working with the JPL Communications and Public Engagement teams, who are well-versed with providing terrestrial footage, Maki and the clean room team in Florida set up a plan for the first live video walkdown of a Mars rover.

On March 31 and April 1, six Perseverance senior engineers watched from their home offices in Southern California as a technician in the rover's clean room at Kennedy maneuvered his smartphone into every accessible nook and cranny of the rover. The walkdown's crystal-clear video feed gave them the confidence that their part of Perseverance was ready to go.
"How NASA's Perseverance Mars Team Has Adjusted to Work in the Time of Coronavirus" :-
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7645
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