It all starts with the selection of the target according to its scientific interest and its distance from the rover (LIBS spectroscopy can range up to 7 meters). For these 1 laser shots, the Supercam scientific team chose the Mawa target (the “mars” in the Navajo), a rock implanted in the ground that seems to have a nice and scientifically interesting texture. ” Before the rover landed, the scientists involved in the mission divided the Zzero crater into separate geological zones, from which they named the very terrain. Perseverance landed in the Canyon de Chelsea area, named after the American National Monument located at the center of a large Nawaz reservation. »Silvestre Maurice Reveals« Thus, all the targets analyzed in this area will be assigned to the names associated with the Navajo nation. »
Once the orders are programmed and thoroughly investigated by operational engineers, they are sent to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, Pasadena, California), in charge of the persistence and coordination of all activities of its equipment Huh. ” JPL is the “conductor” of the mission. He is responsible for pooling everything and prioritizing the orders offered. Not all devices can operate at the same time, especially due to the available power but also the ability to retrieve the data collected »Gabriel Pont adds charge of the operation of the French equipment of the Martian mission at the CNES.
Orders are sent directly from the JPL for persistence. The morning of Mars comes. Perseverance has only attained the program that organizes its entire working day. The data collected after this day are strongly stored in a central computer and then sent as soon as one of the relay satellites in orbit around Mars (when later on the range of the rover’s antennas Passes within). From there, gigabits of data are sent to Earth. Information is disseminated in order of priority. Not necessarily everything is broadcast at once; Sometimes the operational team does not receive all the data at the same time. It is necessary to wait until the satellite is again in the visibility of the Earth.
Perseverance, of course! Precision definitely! Patience, therefore, too!
Silvestre Maurice, Scientific Manager of SuperCam Instrument at IRAP. Credit: CNES.
Gabriel Pont (in the foreground), in charge of the operation of French equipment for the Martian mission, CNES. Credits: CNES / DE PRADA Theory, 2021.