NASA engineers have successfully tested a system intended to launch the Mars 2020 rover to the surface of the Red Planet. The launch system testes were carried at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. During testing, the lander together with the rover was raised to a height of 8-10 meters using a crane, and then it separated from the device and successfully landed.
According to the name, the Mars 2020 mission should be launched next year. Supposedly the lander with rovers will land on the planet in February 2021. The mission will include two rovers, and their likely landing site will be the Sirte and Crater Gesero.
After Mars 2020 reaches the Red Planet, the lander will enter its atmosphere, hang at an altitude of 1.6 km above the surface and drop rovers. For a safe landing, the rover will turn eight engines that will help it to gently land on the surface of Mars. Research devices will need to take soil samples in the vicinity of the landing sites to determine if there are living conditions for microorganisms on Mars.
In the same year, the Mars rover will have to pass tests in conditions close to Martian ones, the so-called “Technical tests of the environment”: the effects of atmospheric pressure and temperatures like on Mars.