This July's Mars orbit is extremely busy. On July 27, China's "tianwen-1" Mars probe just sent back its first Earth Moon photo to the ground. At 7:50 a.m. Eastern time on July 30, NASA's "perseverance" Mars rover was successfully launched from the 41 launch site of Cape canavera Air Force Base in Florida by the atlas 5 rocket of United launch alliance company.
The United States has also become the third country after the United Arab Emirates and China to launch an attack on the red planet this year. Perseverance is a six wheeled Rover the size of a car. The Martian helicopter ingenuity will also be sent to the red planet along with the rover, and become the first powered flight vehicle to fly on another planet. Perseverance is expected to arrive on Mars in February next year.
NASA mission cost about $2.4 billion. NASA director Jim Brydenstin (Jim Bridenstine) said on Wednesday :" This is our ninth landing on Mars and we have a lot of experience ."
In 1997, NASA launched the first Mars probe "sojourner", and then launched "courage" and "opportunity" Rovers to explore the geology of the vast Martian plain, and found signs of past water layers. NASA also sent three landers - Pathfinder, Phoenix and insight.
Perseverance will take seven months to land at the bottom of a 250 meter crater called Jezero. Scientists suspect that the crater may have been a lake 3.5 billion years ago with microbes. The environment was more livable than Mars today.
"Exploring Mars can help humans better understand the origin of Earth's life ," Professor Didier Quiloz (Didier Queloz), the 2019 Nobel laureate in physics, said on Friday after the launch of the China Sky Man 1 Mars probe. Mars can provide a clue when we try to understand the origin of life on Earth. By exploring Mars, we also understand ourselves better ."
"Scientists will have more ambitious plans for the next phase ," Professor Michel Majoor (Michel Mayor), the 2019 Nobel laureate in physics, told financial reporters. We tried to answer the question of whether there would be extraterrestrial life by launching satellites to detect biological markers on exoplanets ."
The United States plans to send astronauts to Mars by 2030. Will will conduct an experiment to convert elements from the carbon dioxide rich Martian atmosphere into propellants for future rockets to be launched from the earth's surface, or to provide future astronauts with respirable oxygen.
Dr Christian Feichtinger, executive director of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), said: "I think the discovery of traces of water on Mars has become very important evidence that there is a possibility of life on Mars." However, he acknowledged that there are still many challenges for human Mars exploration missions, including soft landing, and whether it is possible to actually patrol Mars, complete the tasks of mining and drilling, and finally land on Mars.
Professor David Gross (David Gross), the 2004 Nobel Prize winner in physics, said :" On the one hand, the exploration of the universe is infinite and vast, on the other hand, it hopes to study the material energy and space-time in a very small category at the micro level. This is two aspects of exploration, which are actually interrelated ."
He believes that humans should be rational about colonizing Mars. "Although musk said he wanted to die on Mars, I would rather live on earth. I'm not sure what the advantages of living on Mars are, and the cost of Mars exploitation is high, and these resources can be reserved for other things. " Professor gross said.