NASA: Perseverance of Humanity and Cosmos

NASA: Perseverance of Humanity and Cosmos

(Indian Express)

(GS Paper III, Science, and Tech)

Context:

  • A new phase of space exploration has initiated by NASA’s Martian rover, named, Perseverance. It touched down on Martian soil after a long journey from Cape Canaveral. 
  • After landing, the rover gave the first pictures from the dusty, rock-strewn Martian surface.

About the mission:

  • Perseverance is a Mars exploration program that wants to study the formation, evolution, and structure of the desired planet. The program will also research the possibility of past or present life as well as the potential for human exploration of Mars.
  • Perseverance is different from other missions in the past because of its scale of the operation and its complexity. Its size is as big as an SUV, its dimensions are 10*7*3 cube feet.
  • It is powered by sensitive material like plutonium dioxide.

Specifications: 

  • The names of the devices are SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) and WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering). 
  • SHERLOC will try to find chemicals that could give proof of the presence of life and WATSON would give close-up images of the samples which are to be doctored.

Fun fact:

  • The name of the devices is after the famous characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, Sherlock, and Watson.

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