Mars Rover Landing: All You Need to Know
NASA’s space mission of 2020 included a land rover that was launched on July 30, 2020, and landed on the planet Mars on 18th February 2021. The design of Perseverance is pretty similar to its former rover Curiosity. There are only slight changes in the latest variant. Curiosity landed on the planet in 2012, and the Perseverance has become the first artificial thing to reach another world after the Insight Mars Lander in 2018.
Perseverance has become the most advanced and the biggest rover to be sent to Mars for evaluation. The rover gives users a clear picture of Mars and a better understanding of the objects on and around the planet. The rover took more than 203 days to reach the planet. It touched Jezero Crater, and the images of the surroundings started coming in shortly after the landing.
How did the Rover land on Mars?
Landing on Mars is not a breeze. In fact, the first seven minutes of landing is described as the most challenging part of the process. The Mars Rover had a navigation system that was activated as soon as the rover touched the planet’s surface. Shortly after the rover touched Mars, the navigation system activated in order to find a safe landing spot.
Basically, the system scanned the Mars terrain and matched this data with its map to locate the best place for landing. The rover also had a 21-meter parachute that activated to slow down the landing process of the rover and streamline the landing. The sky crane brought the rover down to the ground for a smooth and safe landing. That’s how the rover landed on Mars.
The cameras of the Perseverance rover were detailed and powerful enough to capture the landing process. There is a camera located at the back of the spacecraft, which is pointed upwards. This camera captured the pictures of the parachutes deploying as soon as the rover landed on Mars. The technology will keep sending videos and photos of the planet and its surroundings now that the rover has landed on Mars safely.
GIS Role in the Mars Rover Landing
When the rover was launched, the primary concern of the researchers and astronauts was to ensure the safe landing of the tool on mars so that they could collect data about the planet. GIS (geographic information technology) combined with other latest tools helped in examining how to land the rover safely on the planet. The technology identified the landing area, as well as the surface of Mars to give astronauts a better understanding of how and where to land the rover after it has reached the surface.
The technology helped identify the soil texture, slopes with the help of altimetry, the rockiness and dustiness of the surface, and so on. As mentioned above, the rover had a navigation system that made landing a lot smoother and safer. The first seven minutes were quite critical, but the navigation, parachutes, and the crane facilitated a smooth landing of the rover.