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March 2020 parachute mode goes to launch

During a test on September 7th, this high resolution video captured the parachute that will carry the March 2020 mission…

During a test on September 7th, this high resolution video captured the parachute that will carry the March 2020 mission through the atmosphere of the red planet.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

When the March 2020 launcher arrives at the Red Planet, it will need a functioning parachute. Fortunately, in a record start test conducted in early September 7, NASA confirmed that the parachute designed to carry the rover until the martian surface is ready to do its job.

The test started with the launch of a Black Brant IX audio rocket; Less than two minutes after launch, the payload separated the parachute from the rocket and began to fall back to the ground. When it passed 24 miles (38 kilometers) at a speed of Mach 1

.8 (1.380 miles per hour [2,200 kph]), the parachute was released at 180 pounds (82 kg). And only four tenths of a second later – the fastest inflation ever in a parachute – it had turned into its full diameter, giving a peak load of 67,000 pounds (30,000kg) of power. It is a second record: the highest load ever survived by a supersonic parachute. [3 mars 2009] On October 3, March 2020 members confirmed that the nylon Technora-Kevlar trough had passed all necessary tests and was ready to go.

One shot

Why all the excitement over a parachute? “March 2020 will carry the heaviest payload yet to Mars, and like all our previous Mars missions, we only have a parachute and it must work,” said Mars 2020 Project Manager John McNamee from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in a press release. where the peak load also tested about 85 percent more than what scientists expect during the real landing on Mars.

Trying a parachute designed for another planet on earth is tricky but not impossible as long as you choose the right ones The Earth’s atmosphere near the surface is much denser than the near martian surface, about 100 times, explained JPL’s Ian Clark, the technical test of the test. “But high in about 23 miles (37 km) – the atmospheric density of the Earth is very similar 10 kilometers above Mars, which happens to be the height that March 2020 will use its parachute. “

Stick landing

The parachute may be ready to go, but it’s only a part of the rover landing system. As the curiosity movement, Mars 2020 will use a descent vehicle and a sky crane floating over the surface and lowering the rover the rest of the road to the ground. Such a process, while complex, allows missionaries to put the heavy rover on the surface much more accurately than a parachute alone. In view of the latest debate about the landing site of the robber, the nailing of this landing is extremely important.

In addition to its new stronger parachute, the mission will also include a package of new entrances, descent and landing techniques, including systems that allow the rover to route around difficult or dangerous terrain on the way through the martian atmosphere to the surface. “We’re about to help 2020 stand the landing 28 months from now,” said Clark.

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