Building a robot vehicle that eventually travels to another planet is a complicated business. With just one NASA rover, curiosity currently roaming around Mars for the opportunity, the much-hyped Mars 2020 mission gets even more important.
Getting the right one means testing, adjusting, testing, adjusting, and then testing Something more, and NASA just released a new back-scene look at the intense trial that the rover's built-in computers have to endure. Tucked away in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Spacecraft Assembly Facility, the 2020 mission's hardware was landed on a simulated martian surface that exists only in the spacecraft's complex computer brain.
The March 2020 mission will target the Jezero crater on Mars as a landing site. It is a new area in Mars that has not been explored by a rover, and NASA's flight software needs to be tailored to the unique challenges that landing at a new location can pose. In his first real test, called Systems Test 1
"We first landed on Jezero Crater on January 23," JPL's Heather Bottom said in a statement. "And the robber landed again on Mars two days later."
Successful tests are definitely worth celebrating when talking about a hardware that is as complex as a Mars rover. The car's different systems are typically designed and built separately, and it is only before they are married that engineers can begin to see if serious problems arise. In this case, it was a question of seeing how the electronic components and software systems matched flight hardware.
"Nothing was visible to move, but under the outer structure there were airplanes that changed sides, radios sent and received transmissions, fuel valves moving in and out, subsystems turned on and off later, and electrical signals sent to not -existing pyrotechnic units, "explains at the bottom. "There was a lot going on in there."
The March 2020 mission will not actually come to the Red Planet until February 2021. But when it finally lands, it will be the most powerful part of exploratory hardware for everlasting land on the planet, a NASA hopes it will reveal some of March & # 39; many secrets.