National Geographic’s ‘Built for Mars’ will let you tag along with NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover landing

” Mars 2020 is the first part of what would be a multi-mission sample-return project,” Williford said, using the Perseverance missions initial classification. “Our job is to pick and collect the best possible samples in our expedition area, and then put them safely on the surface of Mars. And then some follow-on missions that could release as early as 2026 would be required to pick and go up our samples, get them into Mars orbit, and then … fly them back to Earth.”.
Earth is a perfect location to study Mars rocks. “When we go and check out different planets, consisting of Mars, we desire to make sure that were not bringing any microbial hitchhikers with us that might contaminate the surface area of Mars or might affect our science.

The rovers launch in July 2020 unexpectedly happened in the middle of a global pandemic that appeared months previously, requiring physical distancing never prior to required throughout the era of area expedition. The show, National Geographic Channel said in a declaration, “shines a spotlight on the vital however little-known role of the flight service technicians– the mechanics, machinists, and other hands-on employees who are turned over with the essential task of turning the scientists goals and the engineers styles into truth, with distinctive hardware developed for Mars.”.
NASA also brought a few of those behind-the-scenes voices to the fore in interviews this month. Amongst those was NASAs deputy task scientist for the Perseverance mission, Ken Williford, who told Space.com where Perseverances objective suits future sample-return strategies.

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” Mars 2020 is the first part of what would be a multi-mission sample-return campaign,” Williford said, using the Perseverance missions original classification. “Our task is to choose and collect the very best possible samples in our exploration location, and then put them safely on the surface of Mars. And after that some follow-on missions that might introduce as early as 2026 would be needed to pick and go up our samples, get them into Mars orbit, and then … fly them back to Earth.”.
Earth is an ideal location to study Mars rocks. On missions to the Martian surface area, the logistics of spaceflight constrain how much clinical devices engineers can send out to the surface area of the Red Planet. Sample return would be a tough mission that also needs additional treatments to safeguard us from any prospective Martian microorganisms..
Williford stated any evidence of Martian life would be helpful to put Earths life in context. “We have a terrific fossil record of life on Earth that extends all the method back to about 3.5 billion years ago,” he said.
That stated, we would need to be absolutely sure that any proof of Martian life can not be explained by other processes not related to life, Williford cautioned. “We would require particularly extraordinary evidence.
When Martian samples show up in the world, NASA and its partners will take an abundance of precautions to protect humanity from potential contamination, just as the agency did when it initially gathered rocks from the moon. How this will happen is still a continuous conversation, lead planetary defense engineer Moogega Cooper told Space.com, however we understand the big-picture goal.
” I like to equate it to going to a nationwide park where theres the Leave No Trace policy, right?” Cooper said of a rover like Perseverance alighting on the Martian surface. “When we go and check out different planets, consisting of Mars, we desire to make certain that were not bringing any microbial hitchhikers with us that might pollute the surface area of Mars or may impact our science. And after that the second part is, ultimately we want to bring the samples back. We want to make sure that we safeguard our own Earths biosphere from any inadvertent contamination, too.”.
Part of the discussion about returning samples will involve a variety of checkpoint along the journey to Earth, Cooper said. “There are going to be a lot of checkpoints, and if it doesnt satisfy that safety checkpoint, its not returning,” she said. “So a minimum of, despite the fact that the conversations are ongoing, we could all be ensured that everyones trying to get this performed in the very best method possible, in the best method possible.”.
See Space.com Thursday for complete coverage of the Perseverance Mars rovers landing on the Red Planet.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook..

A brave NASA rover is bearing down on Mars for a legendary landing on Thursday (Feb. 18) and a brand-new National Geographic documentary will let you share in the excitement of the objective, which intends to seek indications of ancient life and perhaps assist return samples to Earth in the future.

The NASA Perseverance rover will sustain a new “7 minutes of terror” sequence Thursday (Feb. 18) to target the ideal area on the Red Planets surface area in Jezero Crater and touch down within driving distance of a former river delta that might host stays of Martian microorganisms. The rover will cache the most promising samples to begin a sample-return mission to Earth later on in the decade.
It wasnt a simple journey to get back at this far, as the new National Geographic reveal “Built for Mars: The Perseverance Rover” remembers. (The program will premiere at 8 p.m. EST or 7 p.m. CST on Thursday; check local listings for more details in your time zone or nation.).
You can see the Mars landing live here and on Space.coms homepage, courtesy of NASA, starting at 2:15 p.m. EST (1915 GMT). The landing is anticipated at 3:55 p.m. EST (2055 GMT)..
Related: How to watch NASAs Perseverance rover arrive at Mars Perseverance rovers Mars landing: Everything you require to understand.