Aluminium on Mars
Is there life on Mars? The question that has being torturing the minds of scientists for many years is about to be answered.
11 May, 2020
This summer, the "Perseverance" Martian Rover will go on an expedition to the Red planet. Its task is to study the Jezero crater. In the past, there was a river Delta, which means that there is a chance to detect signs of life forms.
The Mars 2020/Perseverance rover is designed to better understand the geology of Mars and seek signs of ancient life. The mission will collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth in the future. It will also test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars. To do this, the Rover is equipped with a lot of new equipment, major hardware (such as the cruise stage, descent stage, and aeroshell/heat shield) and super-modern "shoes".
The car-sized Perseverance rover is about 3 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall. The 1,025-kilogram Rover's most recent additions include its huge braking parachute and six wheels, seen above wrapped in anti-static foil. The wheels were carved out of a block of flight-grade aluminium and feature titanium spokes. The chassis consists of 6 wheels with a diameter of 52.6 centimeters each. The choice of material is obvious for such an important part of the Rover- aluminium is light, ductile and very strong. These qualities are important because these "feet" must stay strong on the Martian soil and travel in the absence of roads. This is why a special protector was developed — 48 slightly curved protrusions. As tests have shown, this form allows better withstanding the impact of sharp stones and provides a more stable grip on the ground when driving on sand.
In addition to the wheels, the Rover has many other parts and components made of" the "winged " metal. All such components work for gross weight reduction. The lower the weight, the lower the cost of delivery and the higher the chances of completing the mission without failures.
Despite NASA-wide work stoppages due to the global coronavirus outbreak, work to get the $2 billion Perseverance Mars Rover ready for the launch is continuing at the Kennedy Space Center. Classified as an "essential" project by NASA management, Perseverance must take off between July 17 and Aug. 5.