NASA has done yet another successful test from its list that needs to be finished before the Mars 2020 mission to the planet. The agency has talked about the teamwork of the project that’s called by NASA “the descent-stage separation test.” It had to do with a crane lifting the long descent stage from the rover. This separation took place at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
NASA makes the 2020 rover. They plan on launching it next summer, lest everything should go right with the schedule. The 2020 launch will take place in July and the rover will land on the Red Planet in February 2021. This mission will include the rocket-powered descent stage.
Moreover, NASA is right now testing the rover in conditions it will meet on Mars, putting the rover through temperatures and pressures that it will experience there on the planet. After all of these tests are completed, NASA will give the descent stage to the rover in Cape Canaveral some time next year.
Ryan van Schilifgaarde talked about the success of the descent-stage separation test. The engineer said that by firing the pyrotechnic devices, which held together with the descent stage and the rover, and then doing the inspection after the test took place was crucial. This test allows the descent stage and the rover to detach for a while. But they will get attached again, at the Cape Canaveral, which will take place in spring, during the final assembly.
When the time is up, and the launch should get started, the rover will be sent through United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V spacecraft from Cape Canaveral. They want to land the rover at Jezero Crater on the 18th of February, 2021. This rover is the first one to be capable of finding its location while landing, as NASA says.