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Mars landing LIVE – NASA Perseverance rover beams back first pics of Martian surface as hunt for alien life-forms begins

Mars landing LIVE – NASA Perseverance rover beams back first pics of Martian surface as hunt for alien life-forms begins

WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?As a reminder, here’s the order of events for tonight’s landing. It will take Perseverance about seven minutes to descend from

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WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?

As a reminder, here’s the order of events for tonight’s landing. It will take Perseverance about seven minutes to descend from the top of the Martian atmosphere to the planet’s surface.

Cruise Stage Separation: The spacecraft flying Perseverance will separate from the entry capsule.

Atmospheric Entry: The spacecraft will then hit the top of the Martian atmosphere, at a speed of around 12,100mph.

Peak Heating: Due to friction with the atmosphere, the spacecraft’s bottom will reach temperatures of roughly 1,300C / 2,370F.

Parachute Deployment: The parachute will be deployed at supersonic speed, using a new ‘Range Trigger’ technology that helps Perseverance hit the correct landing target.

Heat Shield Separation: The protective shield will detach 20 seconds after the parachute has deployed. This means the rover can use radar to determine distance to the ground, and find a safe landing site.

Backshell Separation: The back half of the capsule will separate. The rover will then use its “jetpack” retrorockets to slow down and fly to the landing site.

Touchdown: During the final descent stage, the rover will be lowered from the spacecraft using nylon tethers. It will touch down on the surface at “human walking speed” – around 1.7mph.

This post first appeared on Thesun.co.uk

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