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Mars Rover Perseverance Discussion Thread


cubinator
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The Perseverance site has a map showing the landing site.  After reviewing it - I'm left with the impression that the site isn't actually a good 'look for signs of life' location (as I'd originally opined). 

Reasoning: Jezero crater looks like a 'dry impact site' (don't know if there is a term for this).  But it reminds me of the crater in Arizona (Navajo land south east of the Grand Canyon).  Certainly there are very clear signs of prolonged flowing 'liquid' along the Neretva Valis.  Whether it was water or not remains to be seen - it could be a glacier, and the ice could be carbon dioxide, water or a mix of both.  The problem for me is that the source of the flow does not look like where precipitation falls - ie a mountain or highland region that would cause rain /snow in an otherwise arid place - and given the dry impact crater look of everything nearby, it would not be a place like Kentucky that gets lots of rain in general (not enough weathering). 

So it looks like Jezero crater happened after Mars lost most of it's atmosphere / water but still had enough subsurface ice nearby to create the Neretva Valis and the flow characteristics we see 

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Certainly the 'wet' timeframe on Mars didn't last nearly as long as it has on Earth. A lot of the evidence points to massive flooding events, possibly similar to ice melt events on Earth like the one that formed Lake Agassiz a few thousand years ago. The Kasei Valles seems more of a floodplain than a river. Mars seems to have had ice and water, hopefully we can learn a little more about the timeline here.

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Looking some more at this:  Location Map for Perseverance Rover - NASA Mars

 

If you zoom into the Neretva Vallis, you will see that there are lots of craters, both large and small, all over the terrain surrounding this feature.  This kind of cratering is exactly what you would expect to see on a dead, dry world.

The Neretva Vallis cuts through this.  The smooth bottom carves through this pockmarked terrain, its path clearly cut by flowing liquid, whether water, free flowing or glaciated or both or carbon dioxide ice.  The bottom of Neretva Vallis has little to no cratering.  This indicates to me that the area was already largely arid (to the point of being without significant atmosphere or surface water) before the event that allowed for the creation of Neretva Vallis. In other words; the conditions on Mars that allow for significant ground cratering existed before the Neretva Vallis flowed, and before Jezero could have filled and been a lake.

While lakes are a great place to look for life: if the world was already dead before this crater lake was created...   

 

Still - it will be interesting to see what they discover.

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I was inspired to film a reenactment of the landing with my drone. Thought you guys might enjoy it.

I had to simplify a few things to keep it light and not too difficult to achieve. This is my tribute to the new rover

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6 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

While lakes are a great place to look for life: if the world was already dead before this crater lake was created...   

I'd say that there might've been something like a bloom of at least extremophiles. I think most of their expectation is just single-celled stuff rather than anything very complex.

On 2/20/2021 at 3:05 AM, NFUN said:

You're looking at it backwards. With all of our Mars rover experience, we know what to do to make the rovers last less long. It's exhausting working on the same mission for years.

Depends on your agency I suppose. There are missions that are being extended to more than twice the length of the original mission, ie. Hayabusa2. And if this rover is easier to command and steer around compared to older rovers (it can look after itself rather than having to be plotted all the time) then it'll be a valuable tool to have as long as it's working.

Curiosity itself has survived for 8 years, so expect Perseverance to do about the same. The drone however is only designed for 30 days of operation, so I hope they really wait until the time is right to deploy those.

Edited by YNM
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8 minutes ago, YNM said:

if this rover is easier to command and steer around (it can look after itself rather than having to be plotted all the time) then it'll be a valuable tool to have as long as it's working.

Good point - plus this one has nuclear power, making it far less susceptible to the whims of solar power.  Presuming they don't get it stuck somewhere - it should provide quite a bit of exploration and hopefully some good science.

 

Side note: anyone know why they went with a rotary wing flying tech demo over some kind of mini-blimp?

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It's awesome!!:valhappy: Perseverance successfully landed on Mars. It's a great achievement for the whole world. People get closer to sending astronauts to Mars and exploring this planet. Mars 2020 Rover Mission was difficult: engineers changed the construction of the Curiosity rover, improved certain details, and equipped this rover with seven instruments that should help it to achieve its goals. By the way, Perseverance can analyze the chemical composition of rocks and soil, search for traces of life, organic material, etc. It should help us see if Mars can be colonized or not.

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The most strange thing for me to realize and accept in these videos is
not that this is another planet,
not that this earthly looking landscape is almost in vacuum,
but that if throw a stone there, it will be falling to this earthly-looking desrt ground twice slower...

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