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The successes and challenges of three historic missions to Mars

The successes and challenges of three historic missions to Mars

Perhaps 2021, with three successful missions, will be the year of history in the history of space missions to Mars. Many robots and satellites have been sent to Mars since the 1960s, and many of them have sent useful photos and information about the mysteries of the Martian deserts to Earth, and now these recent missions are looking for signs of life on Mars.

They will make a complete map of the planet’s climate system and will even make the first flight to Mars. NASA’s Perseverance mission is the fifth US mission to Mars, China sent Tianwen-1 to Mars in its first independent mission, and the UAE sent the Hope orbiter to Hope in its first interplanetary mission. Successfully placed in orbit around Mars. All of these missions were launched and successfully completed in July 2020, and now we hope that by the end of 2021, they will provide us with useful information about the planet.

The mission of perseverance

NASA’s persistent astronaut successfully landed at the crater of Mars’ tide in the northern hemisphere. Perseverance landed in the oldest region of Mars; Because about 3.5 million years ago, this region had a warmer and wetter climate than the rest of Mars, and if life had a chance to stay on the planet, this is the only place where we can extract very useful information.

After landing, Perseverance first checks all of its scientific equipment, which will probably take a month or two, after which it is ready to gather information from Mars’ past.

Perseverance is equipped with equipment such as lasers and many cameras to look for signs of life on a molecular scale on the planet. In the arm of this astronaut, two cameras called “Sherlock” and “Pixel” are installed to search for these signs of life. Sherlock scans Mars soil two inches (five centimeters) with an ultraviolet laser, and his mobile camera, Watson, records Sherlock’s findings. Pixels use X-rays to look for minerals that remain in the environment for millions of years after a living thing dies.

Perseverance will make its first flight to Mars before beginning its exploration. Accompanying the astronaut is a drone weighing less than two kilograms called Ingenuity, which can fly at a height of 10 to 15 feet for about 90 seconds.

Genius works with solar energy and can recharge its solar battery with its own system. If the genius flight is successful, it could be the first step from now on to cover the gap between the scale of the orbiters and the astronauts. They can see areas that are far from the sight of astronauts and orbiters, but are suitable for sampling.
Sometimes these areas are very dangerous and expensive for astronauts, but UAVs fly easily and may be able to do sampling in the future.

Most of Mars’ atmosphere is carbon dioxide, so perseverance has a device called a “maxi” that can compress atmospheric carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen inside an electrolysis cell. If it succeeds, astronauts could use such a process in the future to supply the oxygen they need. Oxygen is also one of the main fuel materials for rockets. If the technology works, spacecraft could be sent back to Earth with less fuel and supply the rest of their fuel on Mars, and they could even go on missions with smaller tanks, resulting in less weight to carry fuel.

Eventually, 43 samples are taken on the mission and stored in perseverance until scientists at NASA decide to set them aside somewhere on Mars to be brought to Earth on another mission. Scientists must decide when to take samples and when and where to discard them. There is a lot of discussion about these schedules. If something unexpected happens and the specimens are not stored in perseverance, there will be no other way to bring them to earth.

We hope that by the end of 2021 we will be able to determine where these specimens are waiting to return to Earth.

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Targets of Tianon-1

The Chinese space agency has not released Tianon-1 information publicly, but has published the main objectives of the mission in an article. The Tianon-1 mission consists of orbiters, landers and astronauts, both of whom use a variety of cameras, radars and instruments to explore the structure of Mars, the soil and climate of Mars, and to study the presence of water and ice on the surface of the Red Planet. .

After Lander lands on Mars, he allows the astronaut to roam the plains of Utopia. This area is hundreds of miles northwest of the Curiosity rover and northeast of Perseverance.

While we have very little information about Tianon-1, this mission is very exciting because it is exploring a new place on Mars. During this time, the Tianon-1 orbiter acts as a communication channel between Mars and Earth, as well as examining the Martian atmosphere.

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“Hope” in orbit around Mars

The UAE has published a lot of information about “Omid”. The UAE space agency chose the mission as “Hope” to successfully inspire the people of the Middle East. The main purpose of hope is to observe, measure and study the Martian atmosphere.

The orbiter is equipped with an infrared spectrometer, an ultraviolet spectrometer and a camera to capture high-resolution images of the Martian atmosphere. Infrared spectrometer measures the amount of dust, clouds, water vapor and temperature of the Martian subsoil. Such studies give us useful information about the atmospheric cycles and seasons of Mars. The ultraviolet spectrometer examines the planet’s thermosphere, the second upper layer of Mars, measures the amount of carbon monoxide and oxygen inside the layer and makes a three-dimensional map of the hydrogen and oxygen inside the exosphere (the outermost layer of the atmosphere).

The Hope Orbit is a larger, equatorial orbit than other Martian orbiters, such as NASA’s MAVEN. Other orbiters, such as the Moon, in the north-south orbit of Mars, are very close to Mars. Although they cover more details of the planet, they have much less field of vision than hope.

long way

It has come a long way to reach such a level of Martian exploration. The mission of perseverance is just one step away from an astronomical strategy that began 25 years ago. Recently, NASA discovered that liquid water was once flowing on Mars, and this led to the search for signs of life on the planet.

Despite the harsh conditions of the pandemic, the hard work of scientists around the world has paid off, and it is so amazing that despite the more challenges, scientists have been able to successfully complete these missions.

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