In February 2021, NASA launched Perseverance and Ingenuity, a Mars rover and accompanying tiny helicopter, to Mars and the exploration is set to unearth many interesting findings.
Perserverence’s goal is to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for possible return to Earth. This search will help drive NASA’s mission to explore the past habituality of Mars. With a drill attached to the rover to collect Martian rock and soil samples, Perseverance will also test technologies for future Mars missions.
Ingenuity, on the other hand, is the first autonomously flown powered aircraft on another planet. Weighing only four pounds, 1.8Kg, and solar powered, this new attempt at using AI enables engineers to open up a whole new dimension of the exploration of Mars, according to Bob Balaram, Ingenuity’s chief engineer. With plans to deploy Ingenuity from Perseverance in the coming weeks, Farah Alibay, Mars Helicopter integration lead for the Perseverance rover states, “As with everything with the helicopter, this type of deployment has never been done before”. The team has been given 30 Martian days, or sols, to complete the flight and once they start, they cannot stop. A very tense, but exciting time for all involved.
Although the dynamic duo, Perseverance and Ingenuity, have only been on Mars for a short space of time, there are already mock ups of what life on Mars would look like. With plans to have 250,000 humans living inside the rock of a steep cliff on Mars, Nüwa, the first self-sustainable city on Mars is set to be ready for humans by 2100. I’m in. Are you?
With discussions and panels from industry leaders and government advisors on topics like Mars exploration, SpaceTalks 2.0 will be host to dialogue regarding the industry and how the future landscape looks. This one of a kind commercially focused, aerospace conference is designed for all those within the aerospace industry and we look forward to hosting an in-person event with many networking opportunities as well as a virtual platform to reach a wider global audience. To learn more about SpaceTalks head to the website by clicking the button below.