NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is roving towards completion. Having just lately stood by itself six wheels for the primary time and practiced its descent separation from the craft that can transport it to the purple planet, the rover has now undergone vacuum testing at a facility in Pasadena, California.
Within the time-lapse video above, you possibly can see the rover being attended to by engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), wearing white “bunny fits” to stop mud or different contaminants from coming into the rover’s delicate equipment. The rover is winched up and thoroughly moved from its excessive bay within the Spacecraft Simulator Constructing into the testing chamber on ropes suspended from the ceiling. Then it’s lowered right down to the ground once more, prepared for testing.
Which may sound easy, however transferring across the rover is a significant problem that requires great planning and care. “Everytime you transfer the rover, it’s a massive deal,” Mars 2020 engineer Chris Chatellier of JPL mentioned in an announcement. “There’s a technician on each nook, and different engineers and security inspectors are monitoring and aiding each step of the best way. Each transfer is choreographed, briefed, and rehearsed.”
The check chamber is a big vacuum chamber that may re-create facets of the Martian atmosphere, together with the low atmospheric stress and low temperature. The temperature on the Martian floor is round minus 80 levels Fahrenheit (minus 60 levels Celsius), however it could actually get a lot colder throughout winter and on the planet’s poles, with temperatures dropping right down to minus 195 levels Fahrenheit (minus 125 levels Celsius).
As soon as the rover had been by means of its chamber testing, it was taken again into the Spacecraft Meeting Facility to arrange for the following spherical of exams, the radio-emissions exams.
The craft which can carry the rover to its vacation spot already underwent vacuum testing earlier this yr. In that case, the craft was subjected to temperatures of minus 200 levels Fahrenheit (minus 129 levels Celsius) and bombarded by xenon lamps to simulate the rays of the solar, as a way to check the craft’s talents to outlive within the vacuum of area. The craft survived a complete of eight days of testing within the chamber with no points.
The Mars 2020 mission is ready to launch in July subsequent yr and is scheduled to land on Mars in February 2021.