Madrid, 7 July. (European Press) –
NASA chose July 4, 1997, United States Independence Day, to present لتقديم The first robotic vehicle on Mars, Sojourner of the Mars Pathfinder mission.
The mission was launched on December 4, 1996 on a Delta rocket, a month after the launch of the Mars Global Surveyor and after 7 months of travel it arrived at Ares Vallis in an area called Chris Planetia (Golden Plains).
There he was resting since the end of the assignment, which was scheduled for five weeks but lasted five months. It was equipped with a suite of scientific instruments to analyze the Martian atmosphere, climate, geology, rock and soil composition. probe It sent over 16,500 images and made 8.5 million measurements of atmospheric pressure, temperature, and wind speed.
In its conduct, a complex procedure was used to bring the mission to the surface unscathed. A thermal shield and a large brake lubricant were used, as well as an altimeter radar so that the probe could determine its altitude; In the final section, retrograde missiles to stop the probe as it descends; Finally, 24 airbags opened 8 seconds before impact to mitigate the fall once the probe was ejected from the parachute. The impact velocity was 10.6 meters per second. This whole process was completed in a time of 4 minutes.
Once the probe was placed on the surface, the airbags were deflated and pulled with the lander on its base, and finally the petals were opened using solar panels. The lander reached its destination at night, so I had to Wait until the sun rises to be able to send the first signals to Earth.
Upon receipt of the information, the engineers realized that one of the airbags was not fully deflated and could cause problems for the subsequent deployment of the Sojourner landing ramp. To this end, they sent commands to the probe to raise and lower the lander’s petals to smash the airbag. The procedure was successful, According to NASA.