Mars, Rover NASA speaks on Mars rover mission
For granted and as we want to land on mars, it’s because it’s, of course important and we’ll do so with cameras on so the entire world is inspired with us and as we do new and tough things and demonstrate these new technologies, because whether it’s on the Red planet, or here at home, on our blue marble science can bring us together and create solutions to challenges that seem impossible at first and i’m, really looking forward to turning it over to you jennifer, who is, of course, the deputy project manager, take it away. Jennifer. Thank you. Well, i am so excited to be here today. I can tell you that perseverance is operating perfectly right now that all systems are go for landing. Last friday night we actually sent a command to the spacecraft. We call it the do. Edl command do entry, descent and landing. It makes it sound, simple, it’s, not simple, but it enters a spacecraft into the timeline where it starts to do the entry, descent and landing activities. So that was a very exciting event. The spacecraft is focused, the team is focused and we are all ready to go for landing now. I want to tell you a little bit more about where we’re at so. If you can bring up my first graphic. This is something that you can actually look at. It’S called eyes on the solar system and it tells you where different spacecraft are in the universe, and so we can tell you that mars.
Perseverance is 125 million miles away from earth and we are only 370 000 miles from mars. So we are getting the time it actually takes, for a signal to go from earth to mars, is 11 minutes and so that’s how we’re communicating with the vehicle right now and now. One of the things that we’ve been working towards uh is really making sure that the aim points we’re targeted for at mars. So we want to aim like on a dart board that the aim point is accurate and so one of the ways that we do that is through these plots that you can pull up the next graphic there. This is called a navigation b plot and the actual target the bull’s eye of that target is the green box, the green box, if we think we’re going to target anywhere in that green box, everything is great. What you see are some colorful ellipses in the upper right hand, corner of that box, those and the pluses in the middle. The pluses are where we think we’re targeting and the ellipses are the uncertainties around those. So that means those ellipses all being within that green box. It means that the targeting is on the bullseye and we are headed exactly where we want to be for mars now getting those navigation solutions is not that easy and we need a lot of support from the deep space network. So you can go ahead to my next graphic.
The deep space network has stations all over the world there’s some in madrid, spain, some in goldstone, california, and some in canberra, australia. You can actually go to dsn now and you can see the real time live shots just like we’re looking at now to see which stations are operating and communicating with with which spacecraft and martini 20 is taking two stations right now. Madrid. So i want to thank all of the deep space network operators across the world. Who’Ve helped us we’ve they’ve had 24 7 coverage for us for the last several weeks so that we could get such good data to have those perfect navigation solutions. So thank you and, as i uh sit back – and this is my my fifth landing i’ve been on every rover that we’ve ever sent, i get that usual sort of anxiety, but very much excitement for what we’re going to see. I look at the decades that we’ve spent building these rovers and building these teams to send these missions to mars, and i want to talk about that just for a minute, i think, back to sojourner the very first rover we landed on mars. You can see this next graphic sojourner was about the size of a microwave, oven, very small, and even though it’s, our oldest child they’re, all kind of like additional children. For me, it it sort of behaved like a youngest child. It had a very free spirit. It was just a fun mission to drive around, and then you can see the spirit and opportunity.
Rovers were the next evolution we built off of what sojourner had done. Spirit and opportunity actually could talk to earth all by themselves. They still use solar panels and they were these twins that explored all over mars and and outlived their lifetime by multiples of 10 and even 100, and and they were just great rovers and then we kind of took the pause and we really upgraded our systems. And you can see curiosity down there in the lower left hand, part of this this graphic curiosity. We went from solar panels to a radioisotope power source, the wheels increased in size. We could traverse over much larger rocks and different terrains. We had a sky crane landing system instead of air bags. I mean we really. We really made a step up and then perseverance, even though it looks a lot like curiosity is another technological step forward and adam is going to talk a lot about that after i’m finished here, and so in closing. The one final thing i want to talk about is it’s not just about the rovers and, in fact it’s about the people who build the rovers and it’s not about the individual people who build the rovers it’s about all those individual people together working together to make This mission work and all of these missions work there. There are several dozen of us at jpl. Who’Ve actually worked on all five of the rover missions, if you can believe it and this image this next image is of the team.
This is the mars 2020 team and there are many people who aren’t pictured here, but i want to spend this moment to just thank the team for all of their work over the last almost decade to bring us to where we are today. The team isn’t just a bunch of people who are all the same it’s a bunch of different, uniquely skilled personnel, who know very deeply all the technical things they need to know in order for all those things to come together into a complex system like the ones That we land on mars. So thank you to that team and i will end by saying both for landing day on thursday and for the whole surface mission. I wish that team great success that they have worked so hard to obtain over the last many years. Hi.