NASA engineers have uploaded the most detailed maps of Mars to the rover, which will fly to the planet in late July. This will allow the robot to autonomously route and avoid obstacles.
Researchers from NASA have taught the Perseverance rover to explore Mars with the most detailed map of the planet. This is the main stage of the Mars 2020 mission – the device costs 2.7 billion dollars, it will start from the Cape Canaveral station on July 30. If all goes according to plan, the car-sized rover will land in Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021.
Scientists noted that the crater, 45 km wide, previously contained a lake and a river delta, is “an ideal place to search for creatures and soil samples.” At the same time, the crater, like other parts of Mars, has an uneven surface, especially in the area of the former river delta. That is why engineers have loaded a detailed map into the device, with which a six-wheeled robot can build an optimal route and avoid obstacles.
These maps were created by researchers from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and are based on images taken by NASA devices over the past five years.
Now the project team is completing the preparation of the rover for launch. The researchers suggest that their plans will not be hampered by restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Every day, the rover will cover an average of 200 m in one Martian day. He will conduct research related to the search for traces of the habitation of microorganisms on the planet. In addition, the researchers want to better understand the geological processes on Mars and collect rock samples. Together with the rover to the planet, the unmanned Mars Helicopter.