The development of the Mars 2020 rover progresses at a fast rate as the spacecraft is being tested. A significant achievement was recorded as the spacecraft managed to pass the driving test.
According to an announcement published by the Jet Propulsion Division, the rover steered, turned, and drove successfully across a series of ramps that were covered in a particular material. The driving test took place during a ten-hours marathon test that sought to evaluate the overall performance of the rover.
The results of the test prove that he rover works as expected, and many of the autonomous navigational functions are fully-functional. Engineers who are a part of the ground team are confident that the rover will work well on the surface of the Red Planet.
The mission of the Mars 2020 rover
After the rover arrives on the surface of the planet, it will pursue a large selection of tasks. The rover will sport several high-resolution and wide field-of-view cameras that can record spectacular images of the Martian landscape. It will also wear a backup computer that can be activated if any problems will surface while also offering additional power for the processing of content.
According to NASA, Mars 2020 is a pivotal part of the Mars Exploration programs, which harnesses the power of robotic exploration to gather more data about the planet. The rover will attempt to track down any traces of habitable conditions that may have been present on in the past. It will also try to identify microbial life the may be encountered among rocks and soil samples.
A future recovery mission could bring the samples that are collected by the rover to Earth. NASA will also test a variety of prototype tool which are mounted on the rover, including one that could facilitate the production of oxygen. It is estimated that the Mars 2020 rover will travel over a distance of 650 feet per day.