NASA Perseverance Rover Loaded With Essential Gear For Mars Mission

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NASA's new Mars rover Perseverance has a couple of new gear attached to it. The space agency announced that the Perseverance rover has got a parachute, off-road wheels, and air brakes. According to the current schedule, the rover is set to land on Mars next year, where the parachute will come into use while its descent.

NASA Perseverance Rover Loaded With Essential Gear For Mars Mission

 

NASA Perseverance Rover Wheels Installed

The off-road wheels are machined from flight-grade aluminum, which used titanium for the spokes. Going into the details, the aluminum and titanium wheels mentioned here are based on the version used for the existing Curiosity rover currently operating on Mars.

However, with Perseverance, NASA has updated the tread design by replacing Curiosity's chevron treads with ones that are 'gently curved' to better handle sharp rocks without compromising performance on sandy surfaces. NASA said that the wheels were installed just a few days after the Perseverance team installed the parachute.

NASA Perseverance Rover Loaded With Essential Gear For Mars Mission

NASA Perseverance Gets A Parachute

Talking about the parachute, NASA elaborates that it is made from Kevlar, nylon, and Technora, which are strong enough to slow the massive rover from speeds March 1.7 down to a mere 200MPH as it descends through the Martian atmosphere.

The parachute weights 87.9 kg and is densely packed into a 20-inch cylinder on the rover's backshell. According to NASA's plan, the parachute will deploy seven miles above Mars to its full 70.5ft-wide canopy in just a span of only half a second.

 

NASA Mars Mission

As part of the tests before liftoff, NASA has been conducting the final assembly and testing of the rover at the Kennedy Space Center. The agency also noted that the previous Perseverance test drive involved flight spare wheels, which won't be launched with the spacecraft. The NASA Perseverance rover will be reaching Mars in mid-February 2021 (if everything goes according to schedule). The main mission of Perseverance is to search for life on the Red Planet.

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