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What is 7 minutes of terror? How to watch NASA Mars rover landing

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Probably the most refined rover ever despatched to Mars is about land on Thursday, Feb. 18. Here is how NASA plans to drag off the daring touchdown on the Crimson Planet.

WASHINGTON — After an almost seven month journey protecting nearly 300 million miles via area, NASA’s Perseverance rover will quickly land on Mars. 

It is essentially the most superior rover ever despatched to the Crimson Planet and is aiming for a landing on Feb. 18 within the Jezero Crater, an historical river delta that might maintain proof of previous life. 

The plan is to ultimately return rock samples collected by the rover. However earlier than that may occur, NASA has to drag off a daring touchdown. 

In any case, touchdown on Mars is not any straightforward activity. Solely about 40% of the missions which were despatched to Mars – by any area company – have been profitable, in response to NASA. 

If all goes effectively with touchdown, everybody again on Earth will later be capable to see and listen to what it is prefer to land on Mars. The mission is carrying extra cameras than some other interplanetary mission in historical past, together with 19 cameras on the rover and 4 on different components of the spacecraft, plus a microphone connected to the facet of the rover. 

Perseverance can be bringing alongside a helicopter named Ingenuity, which is lined as much as be the primary plane to aim powered, managed flight on one other planet. The aim is to have the helicopter carry out a number of flights on Mars inside 30 days. 

When does the NASA rover land on Mars? 

NASA’s Perseverance rover is anticipated to land on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, at 3:55 p.m. EDT. 

On Feb. 18, 2021, it’s going to take radio indicators about 11 minutes, 22 seconds to journey from Mars again to Earth. 

What are the “7 minutes of terror”? 

Probably the most intense a part of the mission by far is the entry, descent and touchdown on Mars. 

Over the course of seven minutes, generally known as the “7 minutes of terror,” the spacecraft will gradual from about 12,100 mph when it enters the Martian ambiance to about 2 mph at landing. 

In response to NASA, this is what’s going to occur throughout entry, descent and touchdown

  • About 240 seconds after the rover enters the ambiance: A parachute deploys and ultimately slows the automobile right down to about 200 miles per hour. 
  • As soon as it is about 6,900 ft above the floor: The rover drops from the backshell and the rocket-powered descent stage takes over
  • When the descent stage engines hearth up: It strikes to at least one facet to keep away from hitting the parachute and backshell coming down
  • When the descent stage slows to about 1.7 miles per hour: “Skycrane” maneuver begins
  • About 12 seconds earlier than landing and about 66 ft above the floor: The descent stage lowers the rover on a set of cables about 21 ft lengthy
  • When Perseverance senses its wheels have touched the bottom: The rover shortly cuts the cables and the descent stage flies off to land on the floor as effectively, a secure distance away 

This NASA animation exhibits the descent stage and “skycrane” maneuver in motion: 

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watch Mars rover touchdown 

NASA TV’s reside protection from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California begins at 2:15 p.m. Jap. JPL’s YouTube web page can even provide a 360-degree reside stream that includes an immersive take a look at the management room throughout entry, descent and touchdown. 

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RELATED: Mars visitors jam: Three spacecraft arriving in fast succession


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