NASA’s Mars 2020 mission arrives on Mars this Thursday (18) after traveling 470 million kilometers for almost 7 months carrying the Perseverance rover and small Ingenuity helicopter, which will search for signs of ancient life and collect soil samples for future shipment to Earth.
After approaching the Martian orbit, the spacecraft will begin a dangerous entry, descent and landing maneuver on the Red Planet. This step will take place without any intervention by the command team, due to the delay of radio signals.
The spacecraft will plunge into the Martian atmosphere at 20,000 kilometers per hour, but will have the help of a parachute and an engine that will reduce the speed to about 2 km / h. Then, the overhead crane maneuver takes place, when the descent stage will use three cables to load the rover, resting it smoothly. NASA released an animation showing how this happens:
If it survives the “7 minutes of terror”, as the delicate procedure is known, due to the risks that the equipment runs, the mission will land at the Jezero crater around 5:55 pm (Brasília time). The place of arrival consists of a dry basin from an ancient Mars lake, where there may be signs of microbial life from the past.
How to watch it live
The landing of NASA’s Mars Perseverance mission will not have images transmitted live, even with the equipment carried by the spacecraft with integrated cameras and microphones. The impossibility of showing the arrival in real time is due to the low speed of data transmission during the descent.
However, the space agency will cover the event, showing the mission control center live and allowing astronomy fans to follow all the expectations of the professionals involved in the work. There is also the possibility that some images of the landing, in lower resolution, may be released.
The live broadcast of the landing of the Mars 2020 mission (narration of the procedure) can be followed on the 18th, starting at 4:15 pm (Brasília time), on the NASA TV website and on YouTube. The institution will also provide images from the JPL Mission Control cameras with mission audio from 4 pm on the JPLraw channel on YouTube and 360 degree images from within the mission control, with comments, on the main channel of the JPL.
The high-resolution images of the landing of the Perseverance mission on Mars, recorded by the cameras of the equipment themselves, together with the audio, should be released a few days after landing, when the data will have been transmitted in full.