NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory specialists said that the new Mars rover for the Mars 2020 mission is going through one of the final phases of testing and testing.
If everything goes according to plan, he will go to the Red Planet as early as July 2020. The mission leaders say that work on the new rover will be carried out right up to the launch.
Now experts have fully assembled and tested the compatibility of a special capsule in which the rover will fly to Mars. One of the most difficult in such missions – landing on the planet, which usually takes a few seconds.
It is important to calculate everything correctly, since the fate of the mission depends on the correct fit of the rover. Now we are testing a device with a full range of onboard equipment to bring conditions as close as possible to reality, – explained in the agency.
So far, tests are carried out on an exact copy of the present rover. With the help of this model, scientists check whether all the details fit together.
During the last series of inspections, engineers installed the upper and lower parts of the descent module on top of the rover-twin. It clarifies that the lower part will protect the real rover when it enters the atmosphere of Mars.
Also during the test, a special nose cone was installed, designed to protect the unit of the parachute system of the rover when the vehicle enters the atmosphere of the planet.
Having added new objects, the scientists placed the test rover in a special environmental test zone. There, in various extreme conditions, the device will make several attempts at landing and taking off.
If everything goes well, then the new rover will be placed in a thermal vacuum chamber for a week, in which the conditions of the space environment will be simulated. Recall that the Mars apparatus will fly for seven months.
The preparation of this mission does not stop for a minute. Until the Atlas rocket comes off the surface of the launch pad at Cape Canaveral and sends our rover to Mars in July 2020, we will constantly collect, check and modify something, – concluded the scientists.