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The Perseverance rover is on its way to Mars. What's next?

July 31, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

NASA's Perseverance rover is currently cruising through space after launching on July 30 and will land on Mars in February 2021.

The descent stage that will help land the rover is also located in this aeroshell, which is attached to the cruise stage, or the mission's spacecraft.

During what is hopefully a quiet journey to Mars, Perseverance's teams will be preparing and training for when the rover lands on Mars.

The one-way light time it takes for radio signals to travel from Earth to Mars is about 10. 5 minutes, which means the seven minutes it takes for the spacecraft to land on Mars will occur without any help or intervention from NASA teams on Earth.

NASA team members refer to this as the "seven minutes of terror. " They tell the spacecraft when to begin EDL, (entry, descent and landing), and the spacecraft takes over from there.

The spacecraft hits the top of the Martian atmosphere moving at 12,000 miles per hour and has to slow down to zero miles per hour seven minutes later when the rover softly lands on the surface.

Perseverance is targeting a 28-mile-wide ancient lake bed and river delta, the most challenging site yet for a NASA spacecraft landing on Mars.

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