70 votes

How were Perseverance's cables "cut" after touching down?

I believe the mechanism is this pyro-cutter, photographed by Emily Lakdawalla here. Specifically, I think they were manufactured by PacSci EMC, since they brag about it in this Facebook post. If you'd ...
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  • 730
60 votes

How did the Perseverance rover land on Mars with the retro rockets apparently stopped?

If you watch the coverage on YouTube, they explain hydrazine rockets burn clear. This is supported by the dust flying everywhere when it gets closer to the ground.​
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59 votes
Accepted

Can we power things (like cars or similar rovers) on earth in the same way Perseverance generates power?

RTG technology has been applied on Earth, many times, although not for transportation - they don't produce much power for their weight so any RTG powered vehicle would be very slow. Some pacemakers ...
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  • 18.9k
34 votes
Accepted

Could Mars Rovers be lighter or faster if they didn't have to be tested on Earth?

The video shows only tests within the clean room on smooth clean test floors. The vibration test at first should simulate the conditions during launch. Drive tests on a simulated Martian rough and ...
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  • 46.6k
34 votes

How were Perseverance's cables "cut" after touching down?

According to the official NASA press release, pyrotechnic guillotines were used: The footage ends with Perseverance’s aluminum wheels making contact with the surface at 1.61 mph (2.6 kilometers per ...
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  • 46.5k
32 votes
Accepted

Could Ingenuity survive if Perseverance failed?

No. Perseverance is the communications relay for Ingenuity. Ingenuity uses essentially ZigBee to communicate, the same protocol that possibly your smart bulbs use. ZigBee has a range of about 300m ...
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28 votes

Can we power things (like cars or similar rovers) on earth in the same way Perseverance generates power?

RTGs are expensive to produce, can be politically inconvenient to use, and in the form of a plutonium-bearing device, represent a potential nuclear proliferation hazard (though all RTGs might be used ...
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27 votes

Is Perseverance unable to move?

I'm quite sure it can move. The first roughly 9 days after landing it needs to get its bearings, look around, plan out a path, and most importantly, be reconfigured to operate on the ground. For ...
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  • 118k
24 votes
Accepted

Did the Perseverance and Curiosity skycranes land gently, or did they crash?

It crashed and the aftermath was photographed. https://www.space.com/mars-perseverance-rover-photo-sky-crane-crash A moment of respect for the descent stage. Within two minutes of safely delivering ...
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23 votes
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How did the Ingenuity helicopter clear tests even without being deployed on Mars?

As of today, the debris shield has been dropped. The "tests" discussed in the article are electrical, computer, and sensor tests. Nothing mechanical (other than dropping the shield) has ...
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  • 46.5k
23 votes
Accepted

Why did NASA release Perseverance (rover) videos with a stop motion effect?

This animated gif is comprised of images that were acquired by the Navigation Camera (Navcam) located on the rover mast, part of the Mastcam-Z instrument. Mastcam-Z is capable of acquiring videos (...
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22 votes

Will Curiosity and the Mars 2020 rover be able to communicate with each other via a Mars orbiter?

Yes, they could theoretically communicate with each other over the DSN, however in practice this will not happen (as it has no current uses). The amount of functions that Curiosity can perform ...
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  • 15.1k
22 votes
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Why do Ingenuity's legs differ?

I asked one of the copter's engineers, Matt Keennon, what the hole in that one leg's foot was for. He replied that it's only for stowage. ... because of the odd way the copter is held in place under ...
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21 votes

Will there be live HD television from Mars with the Mars 2020 mission?

Hobbes' answer explains why live broadcast is currently not feasible from the Mars side. I'd like to complement it with why this is currently not feasible from the Earth side. Mars power budgets are ...
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  • 1,482
21 votes
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Did the Curiosity and Perseverance rover brains do the driving from Earth to Mars?

Yes and no. The no part first: Mars 2020 had sensors and effectors attached to the non-important parts of your diagram, many of which had various degrees of smarts. Star trackers are very ...
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  • 64.6k
20 votes
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Why first 2 images of Perseverance (rover) are in black and white?

A color image would need three times the data and transmission time. The time needed for two black and white images is too short for a single color image. When everything works well after landing and ...
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  • 46.6k
20 votes

How were Perseverance's cables "cut" after touching down?

Perseverance's umbilical data cable and bridles were cut by exploding bolts. This is the same method that Curiosity used. Exploding bolts are very commonly used in space missions. This is for several ...
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  • 5,571
19 votes
Accepted

Why is Perseverance's RTG lifetime only 14 years?

14 years is the design lifetime for the MMRTGs. The thermocouples do degrade over time while exposed to the high temperatures of the hot side and the temperature changes of the cold side. The output ...
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  • 46.6k
19 votes

Will Perseverance be captured into Mars orbit before descent or would it be a direct descent into the atmosphere?

No. Perseverance will not enter Martian orbit before descent. It would be a direct descent. For reference, here's a picture of Perseverance's landing procedure. A spacecraft entering into orbit ...
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  • 5,798
19 votes

Could Perseverance survive if Ingenuity failed?

YES Yes, the Perseverance rover could survive without the addition of the Ingenuity helicopter. The primary purpose of the mission was Perseverance, with Ingenuity as a technology demonstrator (a ...
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18 votes
Accepted

Now that Perseverance is "hot" (RTG in place) and before it gets to deep space, how will it stay cool?

2kW is not that much on Earth You've mentioned radiation and convection in your answer (you forgot conduction). Turns out the properties of Earth's atmosphere make conduction and convection way ...
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  • 975
18 votes

Why is Perseverance's RTG lifetime only 14 years?

This is an addendum to @Uwe's answer. RTG lifetime is a topic of much discussion in the planetary science community, and in particular the MMRTG being currently the only available RTG. MMRTGs decay ...
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  • 17.9k
18 votes
Accepted

How will NASA set Perseverance to enter the atmosphere of Mars at the right location after traveling 7 months in space?

NASA plans multiple trajectory correction maneuvers (TCMs) for their spacecraft headed toward another planet. The intent of these correction maneuvers is to bring the spacecraft back on track so as to ...
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  • 64.6k
17 votes

Why did the communication cable of the Perseverance rover make an angle so great with the other three cables?

All four cables should be parallel to each other no matter where the skycrane camera is located. – azot Maybe we can recreate this. Let's do some arts and crafts! The support cables appear to radiate ...
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  • 7,736
16 votes
Accepted

Will InSight be able to pick up vibrations from the landing of Perseverance or Tianwen?

I really hope it won't be able to detect Hope, that's orbiting Mars, not landing on it. InSight was actually made to detect these impacts, as it can help one to understand more about Mars. ...
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  • 118k
15 votes

Could Mars Rovers be lighter or faster if they didn't have to be tested on Earth?

Faster? No. The speeds of all Mars rovers so far have been limited by the navigation software or the available electrical power, not by physical capability. Spirit and Opportunity were both ...
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  • 11.5k

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