Nothing simpler than this word. It’s not the minute area of illumination in your display screen. It’s not a television channel as well. Simple it may seems. But PIXL is sophisticated. PIXL stands for Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry. It is an instrument on the end of the Perseverance rover’s arm, will search for chemical fingerprints left by ancient microbes.
Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will be an astrobiologist on Mars. The very first ever on Mars. Perhaps the first probe ever. Percy is packed to be such. It’s cool, thinking this rover will bringing a piece of equipment as if hunting for fossils on Mars.
as·tro·bi·o·lo·gy (/ˌastrōbīˈäləjē/) – the branch of biology concerned with the study of life on earth and in space This is not your typical research paper and Science homework. I’m sharing you an amazing step of Mars exploration. Where in, we dedicate a mission…a Rover in that matter, for such a goal. Curiosity equals Mars Science
Since the Viking lander, it’s not the first we brought a XRF(X-ray flourescence) spectrometer on Mars. I think X-ray is first of instruments if you are sending probes. The technology is mature enough to be made compact and offer less weight penalty for a payload. What’s different with PIXL on Perseverance rover is that it can pinpoint features as small as a grain of salt.
Now, you can’t PIXL firing it’s X-ray spectrometer all of the time and scan all the surface it encounters. In a probe hundred miles from Earth and pack a power core for 1 Mars year. Power conservation is key. So, what do you do to help conserve that power? Well, you need to have the ability pinpoint the precise area you’d want to investigate.
You have a pin-point precise spectrometer you’ll need an accurate hexapod to trim those minute scanning detail. An Ai-Powered Night Owl is what the JPL guys calls it.
Mars Science Laboratory
Since the dawn of wheeled rover. The nature of the Mars probes evolves significantly. Our curiosity took us even farther this time. We may have different names for those probes. But, we have packed all the high-tech science experiments into a rover that we often forgot that… it is really a mobile Science Laboratory on Mars.
No one could every imagine since the Viking that we could do the marvel we have done ever since. This is just a testament that we are in an exciting days of space exploration. We should be prepared for the answers we could find. Because small step we took, brings us closer that question…are we alone in the universe.
Thank your for reading this article. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Subscribe to be notified for future articles.