two new helicopters will help pick them up

  • 8

The Perseverance rover is still scouring Mars for samples (and a few other weird things). The mission of this small vehicle is proving to be a complete success, but a crucial part of the project is missing: bringing those samples back to Earth. At NASA they have revealed their plans to do it – China has its own – and the mission is really striking because it includes several surprises.

We will have Martian rocks in 2033. The mission is based on the launch of the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) in autumn 2027 and from Sample Retrieval Lander (SRL) in the summer of 2028. The first will be placed in Mars orbit to receive the samples and return them to Earth.

The second is a platform where the samples will be collected and then sent to the ERO by the Mars Ascent Vehicle, a rocket with a wingspan of about three meters.

More helicopters on Mars. The initial project It was contemplating the launch of a second vehicle in the SRL called the Sample Date Rover, but NASA has a better idea: send to Mars two new helicopters that are something like the vitaminized version of the current Ingenuity.

These vehicles will be able to fly, but they will also have small wheels (seen in the NASA conceptual image) with which they can also move on the Martian surface in this way.

Robotic arms to power. The Perseverance rover already carries 10 tubes of prepared Martian rock samples that it carries with it or has been leaving on the Martian surface. The SRL will have a robotic arm about 2.5 meters long attached to it that will allow it to collect the tubes carried by the Perseverance rover.

Wait, I’ll take that other tube. But these tubes can also be collected thanks to those two helicopters that NASA will send to Mars in 2028. These vehicles will also have a robotic arm – smaller, yes – that will allow them to pick up those tubes that are on the Martian surface. There is a small limitation: the tubes must not be more than 700 meters from the SRL.

Artemis: dates, plans and everything we know about the mission to return man to the Moon

Some very valuable stones. The changes, NASA says, make the mission “simpler and less organizationally complex.” Even so, it is not a simple mission, but if these rocks reach Earth -something that some pose as a risk to our planet-, they will allow them to be analyzed to know, for example, if Mars at some point maintained an environment that could serve to harbor simple life forms, such as microbes.

The Perseverance rover is still scouring Mars for samples (and a few other weird things). The mission of this small…

The Perseverance rover is still scouring Mars for samples (and a few other weird things). The mission of this small…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.