“Please call me ‘Perseverance’. Nasa has officially announced the name of the 2020 Mars rover. The new member is scheduled to launch this summer to begin an expedition to the Red Planet. In addition to exploring Mars, what else does NASA have on its 2020 space “wish list”? What is President Trump’s “mindfulness” about space missions?
2020, bring your name to Mars.
The Perseverance rover is poised for development.
In August 2019, NASA launched a competition to name a new generation of 2020 Mars rovers, and recently named it the Perseverance, out of 28,000 naming applications.
The name comes from Virginia student Alexander Mather. “We’re going to have a lot of setbacks on the way to Mars, ” says 13-year-old Mather. However, we can stick to it. We, not as a nation, but as human beings, will not give up. “
Thomas Zebchen, deputy director of NASA’s Science Mission Council, said that “Alexander’s application captures the spirit of exploration,” and that “like every previous mission, our rover will face challenges, and it will make amazing discoveries.” “
The Perseverance rover has several tasks: from mars’s Jezzello crater to look for signs of ancient life; to collect the first samples of Mars; to test for the first time using geodesic radar instruments to study weather science and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
The rover also carries silicon chips containing the names of more than 10 million people around the world, which will be brought to Mars when it lands in February next year.
FILE PHOTO: Aaron Chaos is an eroded crater in the eastern part of Mars’ Mariner Valley, whose surface is covered with sand dunes. Photo: NASA website
Do scientific research, make blockbusters
“Ten-decathlon” Mars rover team
Mars, the darling of planetary science, is also a regular option for human migration in science fiction. NASA has sent several rovers in recent years to declassify the red planet.
In January 2004, two identical rovers, the Courage and the Opportunity rover, successfully landed on Mars.
Among them, Opportunity found evidence of the presence of non-acid water in a rock rich in clay. Based on this finding, it is concluded that the planetary environment may have been more suitable for life in the early days of Mars.
A selfie with Opportunity.
Curiosity, equipped with advanced detection instruments, is also always over-fulfilling. In 2015, Curiosity confirmed the presence of methane on Mars, and in 2018, it captured organic molecules in Martian rocks. This helps scientists prove that Mars does exist as a “cornerstone of life”.
It has also produced a number of stunning blockbusters of Mars, the latest of which is a clear panorama of Mars, stitched together by more than 1,000 photos.
On March 5, NASA released the highest-resolution panoramic images of Mars ever captured by the Curiosity mars rover. Photo: NASA website
Burning space missions
What’s on NASA’s wish list?
In addition to Mars exploration, NASA’s space missions are highly invested, large and more visible.
The overall budget for fiscal 2021 is $25.2 billion, according to NASA Administrator Brendan Sting’s space program, the first time the United States has such a high budget for a space mission.
Behind the huge funding is NASA’s space “ambition.” For example, under the framework of the Artemis program, NASA will aim to get U.S. astronauts back to the moon by 2024.
To that end, NASA will conduct its first operational test of all four engines of the space launch system this year and continue working with commercial partners to send the lander to the moon.
FILE PHOTO: NASA’s manned Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station on March 3, 2019, local time, in a live video of the mission. (Imagetaken from NASA’s official website)
NASA’s partnership with SpaceX, a space exploration technology company, is also notable. Both sides have successfully tested the escape system of the manned Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the first flight of NASA astronauts could take place in the second quarter of this year, following an unmanned test flight in 2019.
Return to the moon and form a “space army”
NASA’s “ambitious” reason is partly due to Trump’s support. Since taking office, Mr. Trump has made no secret of his obsession with space missions.
As early as the end of 2017, Trump ordered That American astronauts would return to the moon and eventually to Mars. In March 2019, he announced through Vice President Pence that astronauts would be allowed to land on the moon in 2024 at all costs.
On the other hand, Mr. Trump has stepped up his push for a “space army.” At the end of 2019, Trump signed the 2020 Defense Authorization Act, approving a $738 billion defense budget, marking the formal formation of the Sixth Army.
According to U.S. Air Force Secretary Beret, the “Space Corps” includes 16,000 military and civilian personnel, all from the former Air Force Space Command.
However, there are reports that there is still a lot of uncertainty as a result of the transfer from the Air Force to the “Space Force”, involving changes in military status and military affiliation.
Pictured is the “Space Army” sign posted by U.S. President Donald Trump on social media. Photo Source: Social Media Screenshot.
In addition, the “space army” logo, clothing, etc. also caused a lot of controversy. The design was accused of plagiarism after Trump released a picture of the logo, which some called “Star Trek’s hyperbole.”
In 2019, NASA’s “highlight” moments
Looking back over the past year, NASA has had many big and amazing moments.
On January 1, 2019, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past the snowman-like Arrokoth, taking the first close-up of the farthest object humans have ever detected, codenamed “2014 MU69”, nicknamed “The End of the World.”
The first “End of the World” images taken by New Horizons. (Photo: NASA)
Mid year, NASA announced that the Solar Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a potentially life-like “super-Earth” about 31 light-years from Earth.
On July 31, 2019, NASA announced the discovery of a “super-Earth” that may have existed. Scientists named the “super-Earth” GJ357d. (Imagetaken from NASA’s official website)
In November, NASA released the first global geological map of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Scientists say Titan has plains, sand dunes and lakes of liquid methane, made up of cold organic matter, and chisel marks on its surface.
And in 2020, will NASA complete its wish list and usher in more “high-gloss” moments? We’ll see.