Perseverance landing

Watching the Perseverance mars rover landing coverage. “She” will touch down a little more than an hour from now. Interesting that NASA refers to the spacecraft/rover as “she”, even as the practice of calling ships “she” is dwindling away. Also interesting that so many of the NASA engineers/commentators calling the spacecraft “she” are women themselves. The NASA “pre-game” show I’m watching is dominated by women commentators.

The engineering of the spacecraft is amazing: a capsule that releases a rocket-craft that hovers over the Martian surface and lowers a car-sized rover to the ground with cables! The rover has its own flying drone, the first flying craft on any planet other than Earth.

A great day for the USA! (fingers crossed… :star_struck:)


“Clean feed” – no commentary – at Mission Control Live: NASA Lands Perseverance Mars Rover (clean feed) - YouTube


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127 million miles. Perfect landing. And no GPS! :grinning:

First image, seconds after landing (screen grab from a NASA console);



That we know of.


I wonder about physics of the drone flight. I would have thought with the atmosphere so thin the blades would be unable to provide enough lift.

They brought an experimental helicopter along to see if it could fly. Stout looking blades.

I read that the density of the Martian atmosphere at the surface is that same as that on Earth at a height of 22 miles. In other words, hardly any density at all. I know that real helicopters have a hard time just making it to the top of Mt. Everest, at 7 miles. So I wonder how the small blades can generate enough lift. I know NASA has it all figured out, but it seems counterintuitive to to me.

As a rule of thumb, earth’s atmospheric pressure at the surface is 29.92" of mercury and half of that at 18,000’. That’s roughly the altitude where hypoxia will scramble your brain fairly quickly unless you use an oxygen mask or are in a pressurized cabin. Aircraft with cabin pressurization maintain a density altitude pressure of 8000’ to their service ceiling.
22 miles is about a third of the altitude where the vacuum of space is considered absolute. Maybe the partial vacuum that exists at 22 miles is enough to make the blades effective. Just a guess.

Me too.

I heard on a local radio station a local university professor talking about the 2 mph decent to the surface on the final stage. I thought to myself, I sure hope there’s no life on Mars that lives in domes underground that we can poke a hole in. It would suck to start a war with Mars over popping a hole in an underground city. Glad they made there safely!


Too bad we didn’t equip it with some sort of anal probing device. Seems like turnabout is fair play.


Just remember, if we go that route, we need to search out the dumbest Martians, the ones no other Martians believe to conduct our rectal experiments on. Start with Martian trailer parks.


It’s a feat of engineering. A drone type craft has its challenges. I do know that the gliders that are contemplated will fly VERY fast in the the thin atmosphere.

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Don’t forget that the gravity there is only 38% of earth so less to lift.

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Fantastic. The rover weighs 1025 kg and can drive around in sand and take photos of the sand. It has also five (!) arms to collect 31 sand samples for analysis on Earth! The 31 samples will be returned to Earth when another US space craft lands nearby and collects them. That space craft then takes off and returns to Earth with the samples. It is brilliant and top intelligent. I wonder why it hasn’t been done before. It will really benefit maritime technology, culture, and affairs.

During the coverage there was a ~5 minute segment specifically on the drone. There was several years of development on the drone alone, which included much testing in a giant tank designed for testing things in a vacuum. Of course Mars does have an atmosphere, but as others note it is very “thin”. The ambient air density in that tank was adjusted to the atmospheric pressure on Mars and all kinds of development and performance testing has been done on the drone at Martian conditions.

Which can be seen here:

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Can it? And why is the drone so noisy?

To annoy the Martians enough they come out of hiding.

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