Do you have Perseverance ?
Throughout the rover's creation, voyage to Mars, white-knuckle landing, and daring surface mission thus far, the Perseverance team has remained steadfast in meeting new challenges. “It's the most complicated robot we've ever sent to another planet,” NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California's Jennifer Trosper added.
During the Covid
We had to switch our approach dramatically as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic; Trosper added. We also went through several phases, including changing how we worked during and after flight operations. Most team members (including Trosper) teleworked to stay safe. We had to complete the development and testing, as well as operate this intricate rover, with many of the team working remotely. She said that it felt like a hundred pounds had been lifted off her shoulders. It was almost as if you wondered, Is this really possible? We just kept going forward, front on to whatever problem came up, and overcame each obstacle one by one.
During the Build
The heat shield: Perseverance was going to use a spare heat shield from the Curiosity mission to protect the spacecraft during its fiery descent through Martian air. It cracked during testing, and it was impossible to repair. The team had to figure out why it broke down before designing a new one - a process that took about seven months. Meanwhile, the countdown for the mission's launch period was ticking away, set to take advantage of the planet-Mars alignment. That would have meant waiting over two years for the next opportunity.
During the Trip to Mars
Galactic cosmic rays (high-energy background particles in space) damaged some unused main computer memory during the spacecraft's journey to Mars. The errors were also more frequent during this period than on the Curiosity rover mission, and whenever it happened, operations were temporarily halted to exchange computers in order for the crew to reset the primary computer and remove the corruption. If the computer system were to crash before landing, the team would have had only a short amount of time to re-engineer it in order to purge the errors, thus they created a back-up plan for this scenario. Fortunately, the problem did not occur until after landing.
Once on Mars
The rover's first rock sample attempt was made on April 10, 2017, when Perseverance discovered an intriguing rock. The team ordered the rover to drill into the stone, take a sample, and seal it in a sealed container. Finally, after the drilling and core extraction began, the media center buzzed with excitement. But when more data showed that the sample was not within the tube, experts were called to solve this Martian riddle once and for all.
The scientists soon realized that the rock was too weathered and crumbly. The people on the team were happy to have found a way to collect a sample of Martian atmosphere. They also wanted to investigate how they could get samples from loose rocks, which was not part of the original test program.