The engineers of the NASA aerospace agency have started assembling a new rover, which will go to the Red Planet in July 2020 with the Atlas-5 launch vehicle. A new rover will be assembled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. Tentatively, the process of assembling a new autonomous Martian scientific laboratory will take a year and a half.
"Details and equipment for the rover come not only from different US cities, but from all over the world," commented David Gruel, head of the assembly and testing of the planet-building company at JPL, to Space.com.
The source notes that, in particular, several scientific instruments have been made in France, Norway and Spain.
One of the main tasks that will be put before the new rover Mars 2020 (the name is most likely the working one, and the more suitable designation of the rover will most likely come after , how its assembly will be completed ), Will be to find signs of life on our planetary neighbor.
According to NASA experts, "the apparatus will explore the geological structure of Mars, the composition of the atmosphere, and evaluate the natural resources and threats that people may face during future expeditions to this planet."
One of the scientific instruments of the new rover will be intended for obtaining oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars, consisting mainly of carbon dioxide. In addition, an autonomous Martian laboratory will collect soil and stones, which will be sent to Earth for further analysis in the future.
The new rover will receive the dimensions of a small car. Its length will be about 3 meters (without taking into account the mechanical arm-manipulator), width – 2.7 meters, and height – 2.2 meters. At the same time, its weight will be about 1050 kilograms, which is about 150 kilograms more than the weight of "Kyuryoshiti", who spent more than 2000 Earth days on Mars. By the way, when developing the Mars 2020 it was decided to borrow a lot of nodes and details from the latter.
The final choice of the landing site for the new NASA rover has not yet been made, but the most likely ones are the Jezerot crater, Gusev crater and the northeastern part of the low shield volcano Bolshoy Sirte.