Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #Mars2020

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NASA just released some interesting preliminary data from their instrumentation onboard the #Mars2020 lander that delivered #Perseverance

Here’s a quick thread w some thoughts

[TLDR: Mars entry is HOT, but we made the heat shield too big (again)]

So to start, let’s turn back the clock to 2012. While you were watching The Walking Dead and the London Olympics, the good folks at NASA were measuring the aerothermal environment of Mars entry for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL Curiosity) mission
They did this with an instrumentation suite called “MEDLI” which stands for Mars Entry, Descent, & Landing Instrumentation

This contained, among other things, a bunch of heat transfer, pressure, and temperature measurement devices in and around the MSL heat shield
Read 13 tweets
TIL that there’s a tiny piece of fabric installed on Ingenuity, the Mars Helicopter, that used to be a part of the original aircraft that the Wright Brothers used all those years ago. #Mars2020 #IngenuityHelicopter
[Images: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
Read 5 tweets
LIVE NOW: Perseverance's team is discussing the series of firsts since landing on Mars.


Robert Hogg, Perseverance deputy mission manager, JPL
Anais Zarifian, Perseverance mobility test bed engineer, JPL
Katie Stack Morgan, Perseverance deputy project scientist, JPL
Hogg: "One of the great things is that things happen for the very first time every day. For example, the first image, the first report, the first color panorama, the first instrument checks, and the first time we get to see major system parts working."
Read 56 tweets
Cette photo de la planète Mars vous est offerte par la source d'#énergie la plus fiable de l'univers 🌌🙂

La #NASA a publié les premières photos panoramiques haute définition du rover #Perseverance ➡️…
🧵⬇️ Image
En plus des détails incroyables des reliefs du cratère #Jezero et de la poussière déposée dans un ancien delta, on peut apercevoir sur ce cliché le générateur thermoélectrique à radioisotopes de Perseverance ⚛️ (le cylindre à ailettes radiales).
Pour alimenter le rover en électricité dans les situations les plus extrêmes, la NASA utilise un #MMRTG (Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) au plutonium 238.
Read 7 tweets
NASA is set to hold a briefing in just 5 minutes on Perseverance's post-landing operations and to unveil the entry, descent, and landing imagery captured for the first time ever.


Watch live:
Thomas Zurbuchen, assoc. admin, SMD, HQ
Michael Watkins, dir., JPL
Matt Wallace, Perseverance deputy project manager, JPL
Al Chen, EDL lead, JPL
Dave Gruel, EDL camera lead, JPL
Justin Maki, Perseverance imaging scientist and instrument operations team chief, JPL
Jessica Samuels, surface mission mgr., JPL
Ken Williford, Perseverance deputy project scientist, JPL
Read 107 tweets
While #Mars2020 #CountdownToMars retains a big news and #scicomm presence, I wanted to offer this tangential thread on some of the current science around ancient Mars and habitability studies. Gear up!
Today Mars is lifeless with an ultra-thin atmosphere (even if you could get over the cold and lack of oxygen, your organs would rupture, outgas, and cause a rapid death). But it also leaves behind an imprint of fascinating geology from a potentially habitable past.
One of the grand astrobiological & climate gifts that Mars presents us with is the robust evidence for substantial liquid water on the ancient surface- an extensive record of fluvial deposits and eroded terrains when liquid water availability and surface runoff were high.
Read 29 tweets
After big events like my Pu238-powered self landing on Mars, there are usually critics.

I saw a hashtag arguing that we should spend money on other social programs instead of NASA.

Funny thing is I sort of agree. But before JPL reboots me let me explain...

This is nothing new. This conversation dates back to when Gil Scott-Heron wrote "Whitey on the Moon," while a NASA workforce of predominantly white men were sending other white men to the Sea of Tranquility while Black and minority communities were marginalized.
There are plenty of advancements from the space program that benefited society, but at the time did that REALLY make a difference when you're being evicted from your home? Or if you can't afford to feed your children?

ESPECIALLY when the NASA photoshoots looked like this:
Read 7 tweets
This is the first high-definition color image (uncalibrated, screenshot) of Perseverance's landing site, taken after the dust cover was removed. #Mars2020
Another color image from a different camera shows the ground near the rover's wheel. #Mars2020
Mission scientists are already working to figure out if the rocks seen in the foreground are volcanic or sedimentary in origin.
Read 6 tweets

Check out these images of #PerseveranceRover being dropped from the sky crane (left) and descent with chutes deployed via Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter! Incredible photos!

#Mars2020 #Perseverance #NASAPerseverance #NASA #Mars ImageImage
Folks, we just snapped of a photo of a spacecraft landing (possibly still at supersonic speed) on ANOTHER PLANET from a satellite also orbiting that planet. That is WILD

#NASAPerseverance #NASA #PerseveranceRover #Perseverance #Mars2020 #ScienceTwitter Image
I just can’t believe this image—am I right that we’re seeing some of the dust plume from the retro rockets? This is like a baroque painting Image
Read 5 tweets
These are top-down views of @NASAPersevere's landing site—the white circle—made from a @HiRISE image ( captured in May 2016. Recolored from greyscale; north on Mars is up. #Mars2020 ImageImage
Séan Doran also made some nice renderings of Perseverance's position after landing from digital terrain data
Here's an even more detailed view of Perseverance's landing area, this one made with the same @HiRISE data (ESP_046060_1985) but run through the HiView software to pull original JP2 resolution. Also colored; the entire area shown is about 300 meters across. #Mars2020 Image
Read 6 tweets
(Thread) Continuing down the EDL sequence of #Mars2020 #MarsPerseverance, how was the Skycrane phase prepared? Obviously, it worked on @MarsCuriosity , was there anything to improve? Apparently, yes. @ATAEngineering performed studies with @MSCSoftware ADAMS to simulate the phase.
To simulate the event, a technique called multibody simulation is used (ADAMS is a software dedicated to that). Basically it's a physics simulator to perform analyses in time-domain. That's jargon for "it's a sandbox for engineers".
Because we cannot know in advance what the exact conditions for the landing will be, engineers resort to "Monte Carlo simulation". That's jargon for "we are running thousands of calculations with changes on the initial assumptions to cover all cases".
Read 4 tweets
Upcoming: The #Perseverance Post-Landing briefing.

We'll be covering and live-tweeting it in the thread below.
#CountdownToMars #Mars2020
You can listen in here, on NASA TV's media channel.
Read 84 tweets

“Commencing countdown, engines on...
Check ignition and may God's love be with you” #CountdownToMars  👇#Mars #Mars2020  #MarsPerseverance #BREAKING
Incredible! The first image from @NASAPersevere now safely touched down on #Mars! #MarsPerseverance #Mars2020  #Mars #NASASocial #NASAPersevere #NASA #Mars2020
Thanks to Swati “touchdown confirmed" Mohan for talking us through the @NASAPersevere #MarsLanding @DrSwatiMohan
#CountdownToMars  #mars2020 #Perseverance #WomenInScience #WomenInScienceDay
Read 4 tweets
As we near closer to the touchdown of the #Mars2020 rover Perseverance, I want to note the key role that nuclear science plays here: Perseverance is powered by the radioactive decay of plutonium-238
The power source of Perseverance is not a nuclear reactor, and in fact Pu-238 isn't be a good choice for nuclear reactors because it doesn't readily fission. But its rate of radioactive decay is great for space exploration: it takes 87.7 yrs for half of the material to decay
#Mars2020 is powered by a Pu-238 radioisotope thermoelectric generator. The 87.7 year half life of Pu-238 means that RTG's can operate for a long time, for example Voyager 1, launched in 1977, is still sending signals back from its RTG. What % of the Pu mass at launch remains?
Read 6 tweets
A cratera Jezero em Marte será o local de pouso do Mars Rover Perseverance. Confira Por que o Mars Rover pousará na cratera de Jezero. #Mars2020 #CountdownToMars
Foi um processo exaustivo para os cientistas da NASA circularem pelo local onde o rover de Marte deveria pousar. Este foi um processo tedioso, pois Marte tem evidências abundantes de água e moléculas orgânicas, tornando difícil escolher um único local. #Mars2020 #CountdownToMars
A razão pela qual os cientistas escolheram a cratera de Jezero foi para mostrar como a água periodicamente aparecia e depois desaparecia na superfície marciana. #Mars2020 #CountdownToMars
Read 4 tweets
For my final thread of Mars-related stuff today, I wanted to talk about how it – and the question of life, obviously -- has been been reported – and to share some brotherly love with the hacks in the trenches 👋 #countdowntomars #Mars2020
@howellspace @AlexMartin @drdwhitehouse
One thing which I was always impressed by – way back when – and more so now is the openness of JPL in letting reporters in and to do their job – even during the bad times, and heaven knows there have been enough of those
In the sixties, the lab launched six straight failures in the Ranger series. Even then – with a Congressional investigation pending – the lab played straight. Painfully so, at times.
Read 27 tweets
(Thread) Shall we talk a bit about #MarsPerseverance 's EDL sequence? Let's start with the parachute. The design is called a disk-gap-band parachute. Picture below is from Tutt, Lowry, 2019. As you can see, there is a disk of fabric, a gap and a band of fabric. Hence the name!
It's a design already proven on the Viking Mars probes. However, there have been some changes to the original design.
To clarify, a "gore" is a segment of fabric that runs from the center to the rim, shaped somewhat like this:
Read 19 tweets
Os sete minutos de terror, segundo os cientistas da Nasa, a missão Mars Rover Perseverance, uma das missões mais complexa ao planeta Marte! Marquem os amigos para lerem! A Thread. #CountdownToMars #Mars2020
A missão espacial Mars 2020 Perseverance, da Nasa, foi lançado com sucesso da Terra no dia 30 de Julho de 2020 com destino a Marte. O robô Perseverance irá aterrissar na cratera Jezero hoje, 18 de fevereiro de 2021. #CountdownToMars #Mars2020
A Nasa considera essa uma das missões mais complexa de um robô a Marte. O homem gosta de controlar tudo da Terra, mas dessa vez não vai dar! Isso porque na hora do pouso, o robô terá que fazer suas manobras sozinho, sem ajuda do homem no controle. Essa é uma animação da NASA.
Read 12 tweets
Ready for the #CountdownToMars? #Perseverance is set to begin its entry, descent, and Martian landing in just under 5 hours from now, at 12:55 p.m. PST (20:55 UTC). We'll be covering it here on Twitter.

What you need to know for today's #Mars landing:…
In order for today's landing to work successfully, the #Mars2020 mission needs to bleed off over 5,000 m/s of velocity within just four minutes, and conduct a rocket-powered crane descent. Here's today's descent timeline - also included in the article. #CountdownToMars
At 11:15 a.m. Pacific, NASA will start coverage of the landing on NASA TV, available globally. We'll be tweeting clips during our coverage, too.

Set a reminder for the launch stream:
Read 54 tweets
Heute Abend landet der Perseverance Rover auf dem Mars. Wir haben die wichtigsten Infos für euch zusammengetragen.
#Mars2020 #CountdowntoMars
Wichtig für Charlottenburger: Ein MARS-Rover darf herumstehen, wo er will. Ein LAND Rover nicht.
Der Mars hat nur ein Drittel der Anziehungskraft der Erde, das entspricht ungefähr dem Verhältnis von Hamburg zu Berlin.
Read 12 tweets
Jezero Crater, the future home of #Perseverance, is about 28 miles (45 km) across. There's an obvious river delta formation inside its western rim, and that's where the rover is going.
Here's a close-up of part of the fascinating landscape within the target #Perseverance landing and exploration area in Jezero, captured by the @HiRISE camera aboard NASA's MRO in July 2014. (Colored cropped and original map-projected monochrome versions.) ImageImage
FYI that ~800-meter-wide crater is named Belva.
Read 6 tweets
By now, you've likely heard of this rover's mission, seen the hashtag #CountdownToMars, and may even be planning to pick up a red donut in its honor. Follow along as we chronicle the @NASAPersevere mission—and humanity's obsession with Mars—in the days ahead
Rover Name: Perseverance

Purpose: Collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth

Expected Landing: Feb. 18, 2021

Landing Site: Jezero Crater, Mars

Mission Duration: At least one Mars year (about 687 Earth days)
Scientists and engineers, working through the COVID-19 crisis on Earth, have prepared it for tasks ranging from trying to generate oxygen on Mars to searching for evidence of past life
Read 27 tweets

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