For some years now, the world has been watching the history of the creation of the rover with the unusual name "Perseverance". The fact is that the device must supplement the data previously obtained with the help of other rovers, but for this persistence difficulties have to be overcome due to the limitations of the scientific equipment installed on the Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity rovers. This NASA mission differs from the previous ones not only by its name – the greatest interest today is the golden box "Moxy", which is safely hidden in the housing and with the help of which Persistence tries to purify a small amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide from Mars to convert breathable oxygen. Agree, this will be a really unique mission. Endurance will go to the Red Planet on July 17 this year.
A rover is a spaceship that can move on the surface of other planets. There is currently a Curiosity Rover on Mars that was planted on August 6, 2012 on the surface of the planet.
Is there life on Mars?
NASA experts asked schoolchildren across the country to name the new rover. After evaluating 28,000 options, the engineers chose the name Persistence, which was proposed by a seventh grader named Alexander Mater from Virginia. The launch will take place this summer. The flight will take a total of 8 months – Persistence will land on Mars in February 2021. According to the official website of the American National Agency, Perseverance, like all previous research missions, will encounter difficulties and make many amazing discoveries. We remind you that scientists recently demonstrated the red planet's seismic activity using another NASA Insight device.
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The Persistence launch takes place on the Atlas V rocket that my colleague Nikolai Khizhnyak described in his material. The rover will be equipped with new research tools, including an on-board laboratory for sampling Mars rocks, 23 optical sensors and a camera with the highest resolution. In addition, the new rover has been enhanced with an autonomous solar powered helicopter, whose job is to look for new research sites. Note that not a single vehicle has started in another planet's atmosphere. With a built-in mini helicopter, NASA wants to know how the plane behaves on Mars and whether it can fly at all, since the atmosphere of the Red Planet is 100 times less dense than on Earth. If persistence reaches the surface of Mars, it must land in Ezero, the crater of the Mars, which NASA experts said may have existed at some point in the history of the planet. The collection of samples performed in these parts should open up a treasure trove of information that can help researchers in their ongoing search for a better understanding of whether Mars was once an inhabited planet or not.
The Persistence launch takes place on the Atlas V rocket that my colleague Nikolai Khizhnyak described in his material.
How does endurance get oxygen?
Despite the fact that all of the above persistence tasks are somewhat astonishing – even the famous science fiction writer Ray Bradbury did not predict anything similar in his "Martian Chronicles" – the Moxie gold box, which is the atmospheric carbon dioxide of the Red Planet to convert to breathable oxygen, surpassed everyone. Moxi has a rather complicated structure – the device has to separate oxygen atoms from existing carbon dioxide molecules, which leads to the formation of carbon monoxide, oxygen and other by-products.
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The Martian atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide, so its amount is sufficient to convert it to oxygen. Unfortunately, Moxy only produces a small amount of oxygen – about six grams per hour – and that's just enough to save a small dog's life. In addition, Moxy will not always work because endurance requires energy for other equally important scientific operations. If this succeeds, scientists can prove once and for all that enough oxygen can be produced on Mars to support human life. We believe that this data is not underestimated – in the end we will send people to the Red Planet and it will be simply incredible if we can breathe there for a long time. It will also be extremely interesting to see how Moxy works and how its processes will affect Mars exploration in the future.