Guess what…? Our favorite space agency is going back to Mars with its new mission, “The Mars 2020”.Destined to launch in July 2020, Mars 2020 is the upcoming mission of NASA’s Mars Exploration program which will aim at investigating the planet’s geological processes along with searching for signs for past biology on the Martian surface.
Founded on July 29, 1958, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the leading space agency in terms of Space Exploration. With over 40 active space program, the agency is evolving mankind’s knowledge with every elapsing second. After Curiosity went successful, the mission would be NASA’s net attempt towards the exploration of Mars (Not to forgot about Insight!). Here are some significant aspects of the mission:
- With around 85% of the hardware derived from its predecessor, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)’s Curiosity rover, the rover features an addition of 6 more cameras than Curiosity (17). 20 times more powerful than previous, the cameras will capture first coloured images of the Martian surface from the ground.
- The mission featured the Rover along with a drone named “ Mars Helicopter Scout (MHS) “.With a mass of 1.8 kg, the solar-powered drone will help pinpoint interesting targets for study and plan the best driving route, although the chopper would fly no more than 3 minutes a day, covering a distance of 600m.
- Mars 2020 would be the first lander mission to include microphones with it. For the first time, sounds would be recorded on the Mars, thanks to NASA. The sounds would be recorded during the landing event and exploration of the planet.
- With the projected cost of $2.1 billion, the mission would be cheaper than Curiosity($2.5 Billion). The availability of spare parts is what made the rover so much affordable.
- Throughout its investigation, the rover will collect samples of Martian soil and rocks along the way, that would be returned to earth in the future mission.
- Mars 2020 will be launched in late of July 2020, by an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. With a projected weight of about 1050 kg, the rover is heavier than all of its ancestors.
- After the descent stage, the rover will land using a Sky-crane, as used in Curiosity. With some more enhancements, it will have the ability to land in the much more exacting terrain.
The mission would be a considerable step towards future colonization of the “Red Planet”.