Behind the Spacecraft - Perseverance - The Next Mars Rover


March 05, 2020

Sending a rover to the Red Planet is more than just 3…2…1… Liftoff! It takes hundreds of people and years of hard work to get a spacecraft from Earth to Mars. So when NASA’s Perseverance rover touches down on the Martian surface, it will be because of the talented NASA minds that helped to make it happen.

Follow the journey of Perseverance: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020

TRANSCRIPT

When you go to another planet there's just so much potential for making brand new discoveries.

I'm actually putting something together that's flying to Mars.

One way or another you're going to be on the ground in seven minutes. We want it to be there safely.

My name is Heather Bottom and I'm helping prepare the spacecraft that will fly our next Mars rover to the Martian surface.

My name is Diana Trujillo and I work with robotic arms to collect samples on Mars.

I'm Al Chen and I lead the landing team for Mars 2020.

My name is Michelle Tomey Colizzi.

My name is Moogega Stricker.

My name is Eric Aguilar.

My name is Katie Stack Morgan and I'm helping to protect the next Mars rover.

Mars 2020 will be seeking signs of ancient life in the rock record of Mars. What we're trying to do is to rove around the surface of this unknown planet, collect samples, process the tubes as they come back, to look for things that we call biosignatures. So that eventually we can bring those samples back to Earth and determine for thevery first time, did life exist on Mars? But also, where could it be preserved for four more billion years for us to find it?

Before the rover actually flies you have to make sure that everything works properly with the flight software and the hardware. We hit the atmosphere going 12, 13,000 miles per hour. After the journey through space, through the vacuum, we try to test all of our hardware to the environments that we would see. So that's where a lot of the testing happens, behind me.

We spend lots and lots of hours here testing everything. It gets put in an oven, it gets put in various chambers and clean rooms. So what we can see over here is the stacked spacecraft.  

The robotic arm is actually right behind me. This is the place where the magic happens.

This is the Mars yard and this is where our rovers practice driving over rocky terrain.

There are hundreds of people that have to come together and build a spacecraft. You kind of have to put those different pieces together and make sure that those pieces all are going to work. And I feel like such a lucky person to be working on this. Everything that you're touching, all this hard work that you're putting in, the long hours.

Twenty years the children will be reading this in their science book.

It feels great!

Credit
NASA/JPL-Caltech

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