Author Topic: Perseverance Lander scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow  (Read 73 times)

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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Perseverance Lander scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow
« on: February 17, 2021, 09:04:30 pm »
Anybody else going to be watching Perseverance as it makes its descent into the Martian Atmosphere? The Planetary Society, of which I'm a member, will be doing a pre-show of sorts with various experts talking leading up to the landing. It starts at 2:15 PM EST with the actual landing at approximately 3:55 pm EST. NASA will also be having a discussion leading up to the landing here. The attached image is where it's going to land. Here are some quick facts about the mission:

  • Perseverance is a NASA Mars rover that will land on 18 February 2021.
  • The rover will search for past life on Mars and collect soil and rock samples for future return to Earth.
  • Getting Perseverance's samples back to Earth will require at least two missions that are currently being planned by NASA and the European Space Agency.

More info here:
https://www.planetary.org/space-missions/perseverance

"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline ssfc72

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Re: Perseverance Lander scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2021, 03:47:06 pm »
I am watching now. :-)
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Perseverance Lander scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2021, 05:05:58 pm »
I am watching now. :-)

It was fun, huh? Did you watch the NASA feed direct or through the Planetary Society? Btw, at our Tuesday night meeting, I was wearing my new Planetary Society t-shirt that showed worlds of the solar system, all the planets plus Pluto, Ceres, the major four moons of Jupiter, the moon, moons of Saturn and Neptune. I'll have to take a selfie so you can see it better some time.

Glad it made its touchdown and snapped the very first few pictures. Looking forward to the high-resolution pictures later in the day. Until then, we have to do with the grainy black & white pictures. But, still, this is ANOTHER world! Sure, we've been there before but think for a moment the ingenuity involved in this mission, just how difficult it is and how far away Mars is. It blows the mind.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline ssfc72

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Re: Perseverance Lander scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2021, 05:44:24 pm »
Yes, I went through the NASA website to watch.
NASA used the same delivery/landing system, that they used previously, but it still is an amazing achievement.   NASA has been extremely successful in their ladings on Mars. Excellent engineering.

I was trying to make out what the graphic was  on your T-shirt.  Thanks for mentioning what it was. :-)
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Perseverance Lander scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2021, 09:59:04 pm »
Yeah, I saw them mention that but they said the code was improved to handle the landing so it was less likely to crash or something. The instruments on it are quite interesting. Should be cool if/when the little helicopter takes off. I know it's not going to do anything other than to see if it can fly but still kind of cool since it will be the first time they've done this.

Planetfest '21 put on by the Planetary Society was last weekend and it was very good. It was only about $22 USD. My wife watched it with me and enjoyed even the more technical talks. There were lots of good presentations that will be uploaded in a week or two. I'm not sure if they'll be available just to members or to the general public but likely the latter. Their website has a lot of good material concerning astronomy and space exploration including the exo-planets they've discovered. It's very well-designed, too as well as having an easy address to remember.

Hope and Tiawen-1 arrived around the same time as Perseverance (in orbit, that is) but Tiawen-1's rover won't land until May or June but I'm sure you already know this. Most of this information is for anyone else that is interested.

What I find really exciting is that Perseverance will collect samples, deposit into tubes and a fetch rover will take them to a rocket. That rocket will launch to an orbiter which will return to Earth dropping the canister off at Earth. Of course, the fetch rover, rocket, and special orbit will arrive much later (2028/the 2030s?). That's a lot of stuff to get right but they're definitely having a lot more success at successful missions to Mars than in the early years.

Are you a member of the Planetary Society, Bill? And if not, why not? And here's the link to join. :) I shouldn't talk though; I only became a member again recently. I was a member originally in the 80s when I was a teenager. I'm a big fan of Carl Sagan so once I found it he had co-founded this organization, I had to join. The membership has really re-invigorated my interest in astronomy. They have an e-newsletter that gives you the top stories in space exploration for that week. You don't have to be a member to join it.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline ssfc72

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Re: Perseverance Lander scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2021, 01:24:12 pm »
No, I am not a member of the Planetary Society.  I was thinking of paying for a membership many many years ago, but never did join.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Perseverance Lander scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2021, 04:16:08 pm »
The video presentations from Planetfest '21 have been uploaded and are available to everyone on their YouTube channel here. I wasn't able to watch everything myself as much of the conference had breakout sessions. Most of the videos, if not all, are quite accessible to anyone with an interest in space exploration.

One thing I forgot to mention is that along with advocating for more investments into space, the Planetary Society's other role is in Planetary Defence, putting money towards identifying and tracking potentially widespread destructive bodies that might hit the Earth long before so we can do something about it. It's not just speculative, the threat is small but very real. According to the Planetary Society, "On 13 April 2029 Apophis will pass as close as 30,600 kilometres (19,000 miles) above the Earth. That's closer to Earth than our geostationary communications satellites." I'm sure that it will be on a Friday the 13th isn't a reason to worry. ;)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 04:59:50 pm by Jason Wallwork »
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata