Astronomy & Space

SuperCam and robotic arm put in on 2020 Mars rover – Astronomy Now

July 4, 2019 • By
Engineers connect the Mars 2020 rover’s principal robotic arm in a clear room on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The mast supporting the NASA-CNES SuperCam instrument is seen at left. Picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech

After putting in the wheels and suspension that can allow the Mars 2020 rover to maneuver concerning the floor of the purple planet, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have put in the SuperCam instrument and the rover’s 2.1-metre (7-foot)-long robotic arm. Launch stays focused for July 2020.

The multi-purpose SuperCam, developed by the French area company CNES and the Los Alamos Nationwide Laboratory in the USA, is has been dubbed the Swiss military knife of devices” aboard the rover.

Just like the ChemCam instrument aboard the Curiosity rover at present at work in Gale Crater, SuperCam options an expanded set of remote-sensing instruments that can allow distant detection of compounds that would have performed a job within the growth of life if it ever advanced on Mars.

Capabilities embrace Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, or LIBS, for finding out elemental composition, infrared and Raman spectroscopy, color imaging and audio recording with a microphone.

For direct manipulation of floor samples, Mars 2020 is now outfitted with its principal robotic arm, put in 21 June. The appendage options 5 motorised joints and ultimately will carry a fancy rotating turret on its finish that can embrace high-definition cameras, science devices and a percussive drill and coring mechanism to gather and assist analyse soil and rock samples. The rover additionally will cache collected samples on the floor for doable return to Earth on a future mission.

“You have to give a hand to our rover arm installation team,” Ryan van Schilifgaarde, an meeting engineer, mentioned in a NASA launch. “They made an extremely intricate operation look easy. We’re looking forward to more of the same when the arm will receive its turret in the next few weeks.”

The Mars 2020 rover is scheduled to land in Jezero Crater on 18 February 2021.