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It’s been a while. Past 3 weeks have been very busy. Though we are occupied with regular life activities, we are still on point with tracking our Martian explorer, Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover – Percy.

Percy is over 40% of its journey to Mars. About 118 million miles from Earth and down to 173 million miles to Mars. Almost half way now. But, it’s still a long way to go. For over 60 days now, since, launched. We are expecting it’s 2nd Trajectory Correction Maneuver(TCM-2). It’s a series of 5 scheduled maneuvers as fine tunes it’s course towards 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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Landing on Mars is not easy

Looking forward to the big day as Percy touche’s down on Mars soil. It’s easier said than done. Remotely landing a complex piece of science equipment will be even more challenging than launching and hurling it towards Mars. With communications delay, due to Mars and Earth distance, is a great factor in the thrilling wait and see phase.

NASA will use the same “Sky crane” approach in safely landing Percy’s twin Curiosity. Although, we already know that Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover’s landing spot was predetermined–Jezero Crater. Making sure that future missions will be even safer. Perseverance rover has a special retroreflectors to help Earth Scientist in ranging Mars surface accurately.

Jezero crater Mars

jezero – is a village and a municipality located in western Republika Srpska, an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In several Slavic languages, jezero means ‘lake’ Jezero, Bosnia and Herzegovina Welcome to another edition of info-graphic. Here we are going to dig into the details and numbers of Mars 2020 destination on Mars. First,

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LaRA and LaRRI

Laser Retroreflector Array (LaRA). Mars will be illuminated with LASER. Not to blow it up of course. . .Retroreflector is a mature technology to achieve much precise gauging of a distant object. In this matter, distant planet such as Mars. During the Apollo mission, astronauts brought with them a box of mirrors on the surface of the moon. This time, with Percy on Mars. Laser travels faster and is a very good medium for ranging purpose.

This is not the first Retroreflector on Mars. As a matter of fact, InSight lander has a smaller version called Laser Retroreflector for InSight (LaRRI).

A box of mirrors

Sounds fragile, yet simple. Maintenance free and reliable to last for decades. Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will be a workhorse on Mars. Uncovering more science questions and perhaps answers to previous. Such tiny piece of equipment could help humans reshape our understanding on how gravity shapes the solar system.

Since LaRA will be on Percy at all times. It provides scientists on Earth a multi-point ranging. Sending back information as the rover traverse the Martian surface. A very important information with much more clarity and precise data that could help plan and design a better landing on future Mars missions.

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