Just a few days away until NASA's Perseverance rover lands on Mars. The Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter are part of the Mars2020 mission, NASA's most ambitious mission to search for signs of present or past life on Mars. https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/
This mission has three fundamental objectives:
- Astrobiology: evaluating the habitability of Mars by increasing our knowledge of its geology, trying to find out more about its past, when water flowed on its surface.
- Support future manned missions: Key systems for future manned missions to Mars are included and will be tested during the mission.
- First step in a sample return mission: Perseverance is equipped with a complex sample collection system that will allow you, using the scientific instruments on board, to determine which areas are most important from an astrobiology point of view, to collect and preserve samples that would later be brought to Earth by 3 other future missions.
Within the instrumentation carried out by Perseverance, Spain collaborates in two instruments.
On the one hand, MEDA, the meteorological station, is an instrument of the Center for Astrobiology (INTA), and its main researcher is Jose A. Rodríguez Manfredi. This meteorological station will join the other two, REMS and TWINS, that the CAB already has operating on Mars.
Finally, a consortium of Spanish universities and institutions, led by the University of Valladolid, have participated in the development of the SuperCam instrument and will form part of its operations team. Within this collaboration with the Alamos National Laboratory (USA) and the Institute for Research in Astrophysics and Planetology of Toulouse (France), UVa has been in charge of the development of the calibration sample for the complex SuperCam instrument, which is has been integrated and verified in the INTA facilities.
Take a look at the following video with some moments of this trip in the link below:
The countdown begins!