2020 Mission to Mars

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Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

2020 Mission to Mars

Post by Christopher K. »

It seems the Curiosity mission, though still in progress, has impressed enough as to spawn plans for a 2020 launch to Mars. This would be another robotic rover and part of the Mars Exploration Program. One of the main goals of the mission would be to assess the potential for living on Mars. Of course and as usual, the launch would take into account Mars' closest approach; that would be on 6 October of that year.

More information:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/m2020/mission/overview/

Oppositions and closest approaches of Mars:
http://spider.seds.org/spider/Mars/marsopps.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2020 Mission to Mars

Post by Christopher K. »

NASA has announced the payloads for the 2020 rover!

The payloads are...
Mastcam-Z, camera with panoramic imaging and zoom capabilities. It will determine the mineral makeup of the Martian surface [PI, James Bell of Arizona State University]
SuperCam, for chemical composition and mineralogy. It will detect (or not detect) organic compounds. [PI, Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory]
PIXL, X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. It will determine elements in Martian materials. [PI, Abigail Allwood of Jet Propulsion Laboratory]
SHERLOC, spectrometer using UV laser to detect organic compounds. [PI, Luther Beegle of Jet Propulsion Laboratory]
MOXIE, will produce oxygen from carbon dioxide taken from Mars' atmosphere (!). [PI, Michael Hecht of Massachusetts Institute of Technology]
MEDA, sensors that will provide measurements of temperature, wind, pressure, humidity and dust. [PI, Jose Rodriguez-Manfredi of Centro de Astrobiologia, Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial]
RIMFAX, ground-penetrating radar. It will resolution of the subsurface at a scale of centimeters. [PI, Svein-Erik Hamran of Norwegian Defence Research Establishment]

More information:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mars2020/news/ ... ewsID=1678

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2020 Mission to Mars

Post by Christopher K. »

In addition to the seven instruments, Mars 2020 will have a drill with a coring system. Curiosity grinds the samples, but Mars 2020 will store a core! Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program, says that samples will be stable for twenty years. Does that imply human beings will study the core in person?

More information:
November 2014 Astronomy, p. 16

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2020 Mission to Mars

Post by Christopher K. »

Tomorrow at 12pm CDT NASA-TV will broadcast "Next Rover to the Red Planet". I do not know if this is a live broadcast or a documentary premiere, but there aren't any other showings listed for the remainder of the schedule as it's listed today.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2020 Mission to Mars

Post by Christopher K. »

I just sent my name to Mars! My boarding pass is printed and I am racking up Frequent Flyer points!

Send your name with the 2020 Mission. Go to...
https://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send- ... e/mars2020

The deadline is 30 September; tell all your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers!

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2020 Mission to Mars

Post by Christopher K. »

The Mars 2020 Rover has its official name--Perseverance. Its launch window is in late July/early August. Hopefully the virus outbreak will not delay the mission until the next Martian opposition.

More information:
https://www.nasa.gov/perseverance/overview

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