Here is the picture of timeline of Perseverance (rover) landing:

enter image description here

How do they make sure parachute won't fall on the rover?

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    $\begingroup$ 60 seconds of separated flight between a 300km/h passive shell with chute and a divece dropped for a short moment before beginning an active descent from 2km decelerating to 0? I think the probability is sufficiently close to zero even for a space project. -- Not so with the sky crane that had to deliberately get out of the way $\endgroup$ – Hagen von Eitzen Feb 21 at 5:26
  • $\begingroup$ It's a reasonable question, and "is there a contingency plan if it does?" would be a great follow-up $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 21 at 6:23
  • $\begingroup$ @HagenvonEitzen suspect this also drives the when of disconnect - technically they could use less fuel if the chute was left connected further into the powered descent but would increase risks of it doing 'something' unhelpful. Certainly plenty of earth capsules that came to grief from parachutes post landing. $\endgroup$ – GremlinWranger Feb 21 at 6:26

When the parachute is separated from the rover, the horizontal movement of the chute is stopped immediately. But the rover keeps moving in the same direction and with the same speed as before.

The chute has a large surface and a small weight, the rover a large weight and a small surface. So the marsian atmosphere stops the movement of the separated chute but not the rover.

The chute may fall over the rover only if there is a strong wind with just the right speed and direction to blow the chute over the rover. But such a combination has an extremly low probability.

  • $\begingroup$ extreamly or extremely? $\endgroup$ – Alan Marks Feb 21 at 18:01

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