NASA Mars 2020 is a Mars rover mission by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program with a planned launch on July 17h, 2020. It would touch down in Jezero crater on Mars on February 18th, 2021.
Rich Rieber, the project’s lead mobility systems engineer, says the rover has “earned its driver’s license,” after the successful first drive test.
The rover successfully steered, turned, and drove in 3-foot increments over small ramps covered with unique static-control mats during a 10-hour marathon, which proved its effectiveness.
“The test unambiguously proved that the rover could operate under its own weight and demonstrated many of the autonomous-navigation functions for the first time. This is a major milestone for Mars 2020,” states Rieber.
NASA Mars 2020 Rover Successfully Passed Another Test
The team that worked on this project are satisfied with the test results. They believe that the rover will do great on Mars by how well it worked on the test field. The gravity on Earth is much stronger than on the red planet, which is also a plus. The rover will have to drive a lot on Mars after it arrives in 2021.
The rover has cameras incorporated with higher resolution, and wide field-of-view (FOV)navigation system than the previous machines created. On top of that, the creators have set up a more complex auto-navigation software program, as well as an additional computer for more power to process images and make maps.
With the help of this remarkable technology, Mars 2020 will be able to drive an average of 650 feet a day to explore for any signs of life as well as to elucidate the red planet’s geology and climate.
The rover was manufactured at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center in La Cañada Flintridge, California, United States. We are proud of this achievement, although the real success of Mars 2020 will be proved on Mars.