How NASA’s latest Mars mission can change our future
As a part of NASA's latest Mars mission, a new rover named Perseverance landed on the Red Planet on February 18th this year, after a journey of almost seven months from Earth. Since landing, it has sent back some amazing images and data from the landing site.
The Perseverance rover is a six-wheeled robot that weighs about 2,260-pounds (1,025-kilograms). It has seven instruments, two microphones and 23 cameras in total. It is equipped with a drill that can collect important samples of some of the most promising rocks and put them aside in a "cache" on the surface of Mars. A mission in the future could possibly bring these samples back to Earth for scientists to analyse in labs with special equipment that would be too large to take to Mars.
The mission also gives opportunities to gather knowledge and use technologies that shed light on the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars. This includes testing a method for producing oxygen on Mars and identifying what dust, weather, and other environmental conditions could impact astronauts when working on the Red Planet in the future.
After just over a month on Mars, Perseverance rover has found no sign of previously existing life on the planet yet, but rocks found at the landing site show signs of having been shaped by wind and water.
If Perseverance succeeds in showing concrete scientific results during its planned 2 years of life in this mission, it may serve as a huge breakthrough for the exploration of Mars. It could support previous findings of water, methane, and organics and provide more evidence of former life and habitability. It also serves as a preparation for future human missions as early as in the next few decades.
It took the passionate Perseverance team years of work to make this mission happen. Many science fields had to be integrated in such a team for success and we see that not only physics, geology and astronomy, but also engineering sciences played a great role in putting together such a complicated machine as the Perseverance rover. The ways in which the rover moves and its robotic arms work, or how its sensors operate, were all planned and executed by dedicated expert systems and mechanical engineers who make extensive use of programming, robotics, and special computer-controlled simulation methods in their work. Without them, this mission could not have been successful.
Today’s kids are tomorrow’s astronautical engineers
Although our children aren’t prepared for such NASA missions as Perseverance yet, we can still inspire them by trying themselves in various science fields that NASA professionals practice every day. Logiscool is prepared to ignite the rockets of interest in children and launch them towards their future aerospace careers with our exciting 5-day daytime and online camps! A great start is our Minecraft Mars Mission camp, where children can try and experience with engineering on the Red Planet in a computer-simulated environment. Logiscool robotics camps such as Lego, mBot or Cozmo camps are all a nice kick-off to plan robotic arms for spacecrafts in the future. Intensive programming camps and other coding related camps, such as our Kodu 3D, Android App, or Artificial intelligence camps, open new future possibilities for children to plan and execute programs running on any machine, including space ones. Get your child excited for space engineering with us! You can find more information on our wide range of programming and digital literacy related camps for future astronautical engineers here: https://www.logiscool.com/nz/camps-2021