Members of the media walked the clean-room flooring at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on Dec. 27 to glimpse the company’s Mars 2020 rover and communicate with consultants engaged on the mission. It was the media’s solely alternative to see the rover from contained in the clear room previous to its cargo to Cape Canaveral in February.
“It was an awesome alternative for the media not solely to see our work shut up, however to satisfy a number of the men and women who’ve devoted a number of years of their careers making certain this subsequent Mars rover lives as much as the legacy of people who have been constructed right here earlier than it,” stated David Gruel, the Mars 2020 meeting, take a look at and launch operations supervisor at JPL.
The clear room, also called the Spacecraft Meeting Facility’s Excessive Bay 1, is the place all 4 of NASA’s Mars rovers have been constructed: the microwave-oven-sized Sojourner, which landed in 1997; the golf-cart-sized Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Alternative, which landed in 2004; and Curiosity rover, concerning the dimension of a Mini Cooper, which has been exploring the Pink Planet’s Mount Sharp area since 2012.
Scheduled to launch in July or August 2020, the Mars 2020 rover will land in Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. There it’ll seek for indicators of previous microbial life, characterize Mars’ local weather and geology, accumulate samples for future return to Earth and pave the way in which for human exploration of the Pink Planet.
Each to make sure that as few Earthly microbes as potential hitch a journey to Mars and to maintain out particles that might intervene with the rover’s operations, Excessive Bay 1 comes with strict cleanliness requirements: Anybody getting into the clear room, whether or not a technician or a journalist, should put on a “bunny swimsuit,” booties, a hair cowl, a face masks and latex gloves. As a result of notepads and writing implements may shed mud and different particles, specially-approved paper and pens have been supplied to visiting media members on request.
Within the coming weeks, engineers and technicians will pack the 2020 rover right into a specially-designed container. After it arrives on the Cape, Mars 2020 will bear closing processing and testing earlier than launch.
JPL constructed and can handle operations of the Mars 2020 rover for NASA. NASA’s Launch Companies Program, primarily based on the company’s Kennedy Area Heart in Florida, is liable for launch administration.
Mars 2020 is an element of a bigger program that features missions to the Moon as a method to put together for human exploration of the Pink Planet. Charged with returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, NASA will set up a sustained human presence on and across the Moon by 2028 by NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration plans.
Pictures of the Mars 2020 Media Day might be discovered right here:
A compilation of Mars 2020 development video and mission animation is offered at:
For extra details about the mission, go to:
Information Media Contact
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
NASA Headquarters, Washington
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