When the first humans set foot on Mars, the moment will be more significant in terms of technology, philosophy, history and exploration than any that have come before it, all because we will no longer be a one-planet species !
After an overwhelming success of Mars rover mission 2012, NASA’s next nuclear powered Mars rover is planned to launch in 2020. Scientists say that – it is gonna be way more smarter & efficient than Curiosity, which is currently exploring the red planet.
Curiosity had an awesome design, heck lot of instruments, also its launch & entry into atmosphere of Mars & its landing – all went perfect as planned.
The rover 2020 mission is planned to explore a selected site which is geologically diverse & gives signs of having a past life.
This rover will collect samples of soil & rock and drop them at a selected point. Later those samples will be scooped up another mission to deliver the specimens collected back to Earth. The development of this mission is a combination of the “old” and the “new,” said Gentry Lee, chief engineer for Solar System Exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. Mission engineers said that the rover is going to get a new refined design.
Curiosity has been battling wear & tear on its wheels.
The 2020 rover wheels are going to become more heavy along with the rover’s body becoming a little longer. That may change the rover’s mobility system.
We are really looking at ways to make this largely heritage, built-to-print rover drive faster and do more science on the surface of Mars
said Jennifer Trosper, JPL’s mission manager on Mars 2020.
The future rover would have machines which will increase the speed of it even on rough terrains, Trosper said.
The mechanical design & additional instruments would make mission efficiency jump from Curiosity’s roughly 55% to 80% !! Eagerly waiting for _______ !
The Mars Space Laboratory mission rover names – 1st was SOJOURNER; 2nd was OPPORTUNITY & it’s twin SPIRIT; 3rd was CURIOSITY; all giving a positive inspirational, motivational feeling !
What do you think would be 2020 rover’s name ? Share with us in the comment section below…
NASA has performed a nearly 9 minute long test of the engine called RS-25 which will be used for next generation mega-rockets which will take the astronauts to Mars & other deep space missions.
The agency successfully tested an RS-25 engine at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. A total of four RS-25 engines will be used to power the SLS rocket (Space Launch System).
The engine was tested for 535 seconds, which is the same amount of time the engines will fire uring actual SLS launch.
The test was the sixth of seven planned hot-fire trials for the RS-25, which also served as the main engine for NASA’s now-retired space shuttle fleet, ‘Space.com’ reported. The seven-test series is “designed to put the upgraded former space shuttle main engines through the rigorous temperature and pressure conditions they will experience during a launch,” NASA officials said.
“The tests also support the development of a new controller, or ‘brain,’for the engine, which monitors engine status and communicates between the vehicle and the engine, relaying commands to the engine and transmitting data back to the vehicle,” the officials added.
Watch the miraculous masterpiece of mechanical, thermal & cryogenic engineering in action ! The raging RS-25 – (must watch; feel the power)
Get ready, for this highly UNREALISTIC jet engine… Boeing has received a patent, US 9068562, which combines inertial confinement fusion, fission, and a turbine that generates electricity. Currently this kind of engine is completely unrealistic given our mastery of fusion.
But perhaps in future this might be an excellent idea.
Lets imagine our standard jet engine of commercial jetliners.Somewhere in the middle of the engine lies a fusion chamber.A very strong number of lasers are focused on a single point.The hohlraum or pellet, which is a mixture of deuterium & tritium(isotopes of hydrogen) is kept at this point.When all the lasers are turned on at the same time, it creates massive pressure.This causes the hydrogen isotopes to fuse.Now according to the patent, the hot gases produced by the fusion are pushed out of the nozzle creating very high thrust.
Also, one of the by-products of the fusion reaction is lots of fast neutrons.The patent explains that there is a shield around the fusion chamber.The shield is made of fissionable material(for eg:-Uranium-235).The neutrons moving at high speed collide with this material resulting in production of high amount of heat.This heat is then transferred to drive the turbine which generates electricity.
Finally we are done with this fusion-fission jet engine thing.