As shown, the Atlas 541 rocket will launch 2020 rover.
According to the US space flight network on July 25 reported that NASA under a $ 2.1 billion cost of the nuclear-powered rover launch in the summer of 2020 and went to the Red Planet to find evidence of life ever existed. The rover is currently launching rocket has been selected United Launch Alliance (ULA) of the Atlas 5 rocket launch because the only qualification spacecraft carried nuclear batteries and selected, after the rocket had carried nuclear batteries of the same New Horizons and curiosity rover.
Why is Atlas 5 rocket
Local time on July 25 afternoon, the NASA Advisory Committee meeting held on Cleveland, NASA planetary science director Jim & middot; Green (Jim Green) revealed the news. The US active duty and is about to serve the rocket, capable of launching medium to heavy loads only ULA's Atlas 5 rocket and the Delta Heavy rocket and SpaceX Falcon heavy end of the first shot of the rocket, but it remains unclear whether the participation SpaceX the competition launch contracts.
At least for now, the Atlas 5 rocket is the only certification qualifications held by NASA, capable of firing nuclear equipment plutonium 238 battery rover rocket. Such nuclear batteries, also known as & ldquo; & rdquo ;, radioisotope thermal motor thermocouple array will be able to take advantage of the release of heat into electrical energy when the decay of radioactive materials, so that the rover can work during the day and night.
Effect: The rover is moving from & ldquo; sky crane & rdquo; down to the surface of Mars
Curiosity and the similarities and differences
2020 Go to Mars rover called Curiosity car an enhanced version of its primary scientific goal is to go to Mars to look for signs of past life. Currently working on Mars Curiosity rover has confirmed that in ancient times, the conditions for the survival of life on Mars.
2020 rover project scientist Ken & middot; Farley (Ken Farley) said: & ldquo; if life has evolved there? Whether on Mars had a good living? Now, these lives should have gone, because the 3.5 billion years of Martian climate changed dramatically, so we focus on the detection of the distant past. & Rdquo;
Of this new rover will land in a region once suitable for life to survive, and worked there for at least one Martian year, about 687 days. After landing, it will collect great scientific value of soil and rock samples on Mars, and place it on the surface of Mars, waiting for the future of other spacecraft these samples back to Earth.
2020 rover will carry multiple sets of scientific instruments to the Red Planet, including a stereo camera for detecting organic compounds in the rock cameras, X-ray fluorescence spectrometer analysis of elemental composition, mineralogy with ultraviolet laser beams to detect subsurface geology of Mars test radar, miniature weather stations, and the use of the Martian atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide to produce oxygen equipment.
In addition, the rover also carries a microphone, if all goes well, we will first hear the wind from the surface of Mars. Mars Polar Lander in 1999 NASA has launched a portable microphone, but the lander crashed during landing in the Martian south pole, failed.
2020 Mars rover Curiosity is not only similar to the structure and its landing approach is similar, including the use of heat shield, supersonic parachute, and & ldquo; & rdquo ;, these sky crane landing Curiosity techniques are used in 2012. However, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) also made a number of technical improvements, the new & ldquo; trigger range & rdquo; technology enables the rovers reduced by 50% of the landing ellipse regional context, a substantial increase in accuracy landing, arriving closer scientific objectives .
In addition, the new technology allows to navigate the rover to take pictures, and compare car map the Martian, independent to avoid dangerous terrain, landing safer. Therefore, some places can not go Curiosity rover has a new arrival may now have been eliminated candidate Curiosity landing points reappear in the 2020 Mars rover landing area candidate on the list.
Effect: survey rovers are on Mars
Time and place to Mars
July 2020, the arrangement positions of Earth and Mars just provide a short-term launch window, the new rover from Cape Canaveral, Florida launch Kara in the meantime, is expected to arrive on Mars in February 2021, but the final landing location has not yet been determined, scientists are already finalized the eight candidate landing site.
Ken & middot; Farley said: & ldquo; These landing points have their own characteristics, and we think they might be suitable for life in ancient times. Half of the sites have had surface water activities, such as traces of rivers, lakes and deltas; the other half with the surface about spa, which are recorded in the rocks. On Earth, these two environments is very suitable for the growth of microorganisms. & Rdquo;
NASA also plans to send a group of small satellites follow rovers to Mars, but has not yet determined these small satellites & ldquo; & rdquo ;. passenger list