A Month in Space

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10 million km from Earth and 65 million km to Mars. Almost a month in space and travelling at 113,000 km/h is a very daunting journey. For a human being? It is. But, for a Mars exploration rover, it is a “cruise”. It’s pretty exciting, if you come to think of it. This blog is dedicated to tracking Percy’s journey to Mars.

When tracking, it is always good to start at the beginning. Or, look back on the month that have past and lays out the highlights of those 30 day journey.

The beginning

Mars 2020 Mars exploration was a good opportunity for everyone to share the journey and even land in Mars…your name that is. This was a cool way of “setting foot” humans on Mars…in a way.

Now Boarding

It was May 2019 when I booked this from NASA’s website. I got curious and loved the idea of space exploration. I was fan when they sent the the Curiosity rover. I was amazed with the technology and the approach of sending an expensive and fragile piece of equipment into a hostile environment(or perhaps planet).

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The launch

July 30, 2020 11:50 UTC. Aboard Atlas V rocket, Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, blasts into outer space successfully and would spend the next 6-7 months in space and rendezvous with Mars.

Animation of Mars 2020’s trajectory around Sun
   Mars 2020 ·   Sun ·    Earth ·    Mars

Relive the launch


Not E.T.. of course. But, a standard procedure of checking the probes communications and telemetry. Making sure that signals are acquired with flight and probes health sent to ground stations on Earth. Additional commands are sent as well and the launch was deemed successful.

Encountered a little issue. But, Percy’s perfectly fine

Due to a sensor logging an unusual temperature reading. Mars 2020 went into “safe mode”. A procedure halting all systems but the essential ones. Commands were sent and Percy is back into cruise mode to Mars.

Essential systems

Thermal Management

keeps all the spacecraft’s component systems within acceptable temperature ranges during all mission phases.

Attitude Control

process of controlling the orientation of an aerospace vehicle with respect to an inertial frame of reference or another entity such as the celestial sphere, certain fields, and nearby objects, etc.

Radio Reception

This is self explanatory. Keep all lines open so Percy can always “phone home”

Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM) 1

15 days after the launch Mars 2020 did one of its 5 schedule TCM’s. A necessary execution making sure Percy will land in Jezero carter on Mars.

Tracking Perseverance TCM-1

Trajectory Correction Maneuver(TCM)-1 NASA Mars Perseverance Rover is almost a month now in space. Since launch on July 30, 2020 it only encountered technical problem when it went into “safe mode“. The launch was all good, even despite some unforeseen circumstance that could delay it’s mission. Just before the launch an earthquake struck and COVID-19

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It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop

Confucius (551-479 BC), philosopher

To be real, Mars 2020 is moving very fast in space. At over 100 thousand km per hour is REALLY fast. In zero gravity, it’s not of an issue really. Basically cruising with not much resistance. Speed is everything in interplanetary travel. Besides with Mars, you only have this every 2 year window for a rendezvous. Be there at the exact time. Mars will never wait. . .

In a long journey time run so slow. It is an enigmatic situation where your mind is pulled by the relativity of it. Thank your for reading my blog. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Subscribe to be notified for future Mars 2020 and Perseverance rover mission updates.

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