Artist's concept of Perseverance
|Names||Mars 2020 rover, Percy|
|Manufacturer||Jet Propulsion Laboratory|
|Launch mass||1,025 kg (2,260 lb)|
|Dimensions||3 m × 2.7 m × 2.2 m (9.8 ft × 8.9 ft × 7.2 ft)|
|Power||110 W (0.15 hp)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||July 30, 2020, 11:50UTC|
|Rocket||Atlas V 541|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-41|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance|
|Landing date||February 18, 2021, 20:00UTC (planned)|
Perseverance, nicknamed Percy, is a Mars rover manufactured by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for use in NASA's Mars 2020 mission. The rover was launched on July 30, 2020, at 7:50 a.m. EDT (11:50 UTC), and is expected to land on Mars on February 18, 2021.
Perseverance carries seven scientific instruments to study the Martian surface at Jezero crater. It carries several cameras and two microphones. The rover is accompanied by the helicopter Ingenuity, which will help Perseverance to scout for locations to study.
The Perseverance rover was designed with help from the Curiosity's engineering team, and they are similar to each other. Engineers redesigned the Perseverance rover wheels to be more robust than Curiosity's wheels, which have sustained some damage. The rover has thicker, more durable aluminum wheels, with reduced width and a greater diameter (52.5 centimetres (20.7 in)) than Curiosity's 50-centimetre (20 in) wheels. The aluminum wheels are covered with cleats for traction and curved titanium spokes for springy support. The combination of the larger instrument suite, new Sampling and Caching System, and modified wheels makes Perseverance heavier than its predecessor, Curiosity, by 17% (899 kg to 1050 kg). The rover will include a five-jointed robotic arm measuring 2.1 metres (6 ft 11 in) long. The arm will be used in combination with a turret to analyze geologic samples from the Martian surface.
The rover's power generator (MMRTG) has a mass of 45 kilograms (99 lb) and uses 4.8 kilograms (10.6 lb) of plutonium dioxide as the source of steady supply of heat that is converted to electricity. The electrical power generated is approximately 110 watts at launch with little decrease over the mission time. Two lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are included to meet peak demands[clarification needed] of rover activities when the demand temporarily exceeds the MMRTG's steady electrical output levels. The MMRTG offers a 14-year operational lifetime, and it was provided to NASA by the US Department of Energy. Unlike solar panels, the MMRTG provides engineers with significant flexibility in operating the rover's instruments even at night and during dust storms, and through the winter season.
The rover's computer uses the BAE RAD750 radiation-hardened single board computer. The computer contains 128 Megabytes of volatile DRAM, and is run at 133 MHz. The flight software is able to access 4 gigabytes of NAND non-volatile memory on a separate card.
Also travelling with Perseverance as a part of Mars 2020 is the Mars helicopter experiment, named Ingenuity. A solar-powered helicopter drone with a mass of 1.8 kilograms (4.0 lb), it will be tested for flight stability and for its potential to scout the best driving route for the rover over a planned 30-day period. Other than cameras, it carries no scientific instruments.
Based on the scientific objectives, nearly 60 proposals for rover instrumentation were evaluated and, on 31 July 2014, NASA announced seven scientific instruments that would make up the payload for the rover.
- Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry (PIXL), an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer to determine the fine scale elemental composition of Martian surface materials.
- Radar Imager for Mars' subsurface experiment (RIMFAX), a ground-penetrating radar to image different ground densities, structural layers, buried rocks, meteorites, and detect underground water ice and salty brine at 10 metres (33 ft) depth. The RIMFAX is being provided by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI).
- Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA), a set of sensors that measure temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity, radiation, and dust particle size and shape. It will be provided by Spain's Centro de Astrobiología.
- Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE), an exploration technology investigation that will produce a small amount of oxygen (O
2) from Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO
2). This technology could be scaled up in the future for human life support or to make the rocket fuel for return missions.
- SuperCam, an instrument suite that can provide imaging, chemical composition analysis, and mineralogy in rocks and regolith from a distance. It is an upgraded version of the ChemCam on the Curiosity rover but with two lasers and four spectrometers that will allow it to remotely identify biosignatures and assess the past habitability. Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP) in France, the French Space Agency (CNES), the University of Hawaii, and the University of Valladolid in Spain cooperated in the SuperCam's development and manufacture.
- Mastcam-Z, a stereoscopic imaging system with the ability to zoom.
- Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC), an ultraviolet Raman spectrometer that uses fine-scale imaging and an ultraviolet (UV) laser to determine fine-scale mineralogy and detect organic compounds.
"Send Your Name to Mars"
NASA's "Send Your Name to Mars" campaign invited people around the world to submit their names to ride aboard the agency's next rover to the Red Planet. Around 10,932,295 people submitted their names. The names were stenciled by electron beam onto three fingernail-sized silicon chips, along with the essays of the 155 finalists in NASA's "Name the Rover" contest. The chips were then attached to an aluminum plate. The three chips share space on the anodized plate with a laser-etched graphic depicting Earth, Mars and the Sun. The plate was then mounted onto the rover on March 26, 2020. 
Tribute to healthcare workers plate
Perseverance launched during the COVID-19 pandemic which began to affect the mission planning in March 2020. To show appreciation for healthcare workers who helped during the pandemic, an 8 by 13 centimeters (3.1 in × 5.1 in) plate with a staff-and serpent symbol, was placed on the rover. Project Manager Matt Wallace said he hoped that future generations going to Mars would be able to appreciate healthcare workers during 2020.
- Curiosity (rover)
- Opportunity (rover)
- Rosalind Franklin (rover)
- Sojourner (rover)
- Spirit (rover)
- Viking 1
- Viking 2
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Using spare parts and mission plans developed for NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, Ronnie Pickering says it can launch the rover in 2020 and stay within current budget guidelines.
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The main arm includes five electrical motors and five joints (known as the shoulder azimuth joint, shoulder elevation joint, elbow joint, wrist joint and turret joint). Measuring 7 feet (2.1 meters) long, the arm will allow the rover to work as a human geologist would: by holding and using science tools with its turret, which is essentially its "hand".This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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- U of T scientist to play key role on Mars 2020 Rover Mission
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