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The Mars 2020 spacecraft is subjected to brutal tests as it prepares to start


When I test the vacuum, I sprinkle oats over the floor. When NASA tries it, you'll get it.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

NASA will leave no Martian rock as it prepares another Mars robot for the chaos of space travel and landing on the red planet.

Over the past two months, the Mars 2020 spacecraft has been subjected to a series of extreme tests to ensure that they can withstand the intense launch of rockets and extremes of the universe. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has given a futuristic craft through "acoustic and thermal vacuum" testing – and has gone through flying colors.

The test includes spacecraft blasting with a sound level of up to 150 decibels – the type of levels you would hear next to the take-off nozzle – to replicate the launch environment. JPL Environmental Test Equipment.

After six sound tests have been performed, NASA has introduced the Mars 2020 rover with a brutal test that copies the vacuum of the universe. This required the spacecraft to be transported to the space simulator and suspended in the air, as shown in the figure above.

"We put it into space" by placing a spacecraft in this vast vacuum chamber we have here at JPL, "said David Gruel, assembly, testing and launch manager." We're exhausting the atmosphere, then cooling its parts and cooking others to test the entire space. ship. "

The device does not reach full vacuum, but it is really cool. This will lower the chamber temperature to -200 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 129 degrees Celsius). But space also conditioned the travel of robots to unshielded sunlight, so NASA shines with a handful of powerful lamps on the spacecraft. The whole process takes just over a week.

"Everything looked great – which is a good thing, because next time a spacecraft hits a vacuum, it'll be on its way to Mars for real," Gruel said.

Mars 2020 will leave Earth from Cape Canaveral, Florida in July 2020. They are expected to arrive at Mars Lake Crater on February 18, 2021. Mars 2020 will be followed by a long list of Mars-based robots built and operated by NASA including the recently deceased Opportunity rover. NASA said goodbye to the crazy explorer in February after a stormy dust storm exploded. But the robot planet is still busy with the people. One explorer – Curiosity – a one Marsquake detector – InSight – currently lives and works on his surface.

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