Sign Up

Sign In

Forgot Password

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email.

Sorry, you do not have a permission to ask a question, You must login to ask question.

Welcome to CosmoLaunch - A Diary of the Universe

CosmoLaunch welcomes every Cosmonite to share invaluable knowledge about the mysteries of space. This platform is a launchpad to the depth of Cosmos.

Join us as we unfold the complexity of the Universe, from the genesis to the end.

Mars Exploration Rovers – Uncover the History of Planet Mars

Mars Exploration Rovers – Uncover the History of Planet Mars

The prospect of having cosmic counterparts has intrigued Humanity for centuries. Moreover, the recent buzz about Area 51, the everlasting speculation about the Bermuda Triangle, and many other allegations have led to a million-dollar question – Does or did extraterrestrial life exist? To answer this question, scientists are trying to utilize Mars exploration rovers to uncover the history of planet Mars.

Why Mars?

The golden rule while searching for life is to follow the trail of water. The chance of finding microorganisms becomes manifold when water is present.

One can attribute the recent interest on Mars to the above reason. Also, the red planet has one of the most adjustable environments after Earth. With the Curiosity rover uncovering water in Martian soil, the quest has only begun.

Launch from Earth

The Mars 2020 mission is the result of the above idea. NASA successfully launched the Perseverance rover, the latest of Humanity’s Mars exploration rovers, via the Atlas V 541 rocket on July 30th, 2020, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The estimated landing on the Martian surface is in February 2021.

Typical design of the Mars exploration rovers (or any other rovers)

NASA’s impression of the Perseverance rover in Mars

Isn’t it absurd to send many rovers to examine the same Martian soil fundamentally? Isn’t it a waste of resources?

No, because scientists innovate in every step. The missions Spirit and Opportunity mostly concentrated on Mars’ past habitability. But Perseverance will also investigate the requirements for future human expeditions to Mars.

Airbag Landing Mechanism
Airbag mechanism was used for the Mars exploration rovers, before Curiosity

By NASA/JPL – CalTech

Sojourner, Opportunity, and Spirit rovers employed the airbag mechanism to land safely. According to the method, a parachute would slow the rover down, and the airbags surrounding it would inflate, forming a cocoon, while falling towards the surface. Then it would continuously bounce until it comes to rest. Then the airbags would deflate, and the rover would emerge.

Airbag method has some drawbacks:

  • Might not work for heavier rovers.
  • Can displace the rovers from their target landing spots. With a limited speed, it would take days for them to return to their intended locations.
Skycrane Maneuver

Curiosity had a lot of challenges. It weighed about a ton, so the airbag mechanism was out of option. Scientists had to come up with a unique technique – the Skycrane maneuver. The case is the same for Perseverance.

The Skycrane maneuver is the current method for smooth landing of heavy Mars exploration rovers.

Skycrane Maneuver by NASA/JPL – CalTech

The Skycrane maneuver is where a descent stage containing the rover would detach from the parachute. Then, this vehicle would use rocket boosters to reduce its downward acceleration. After reaching a few meters above the Martian surface, the stage would hover, and the rover would lower itself slowly, backed by a tether attached to it. On touchdown, the rope would cut off.

There are some notable restrictions here:

  • The Martian atmosphere is 100 times lighter than that of Earth. Any Mars mission needs more than just a parachute to slow down and land safely. That is why the need for airbags or Skycrane arises.
  • Parachutes that can sustain supersonic speeds are necessary. 
  • Immediately after deploying the chute, the heat shield must detach so that the rover can have a ground view.
  • When the descent stage separates, it must propel itself horizontally away from the chute to avoid disturbance.
  • As the rover touches down, the descent stage directly hovers overhead and in a collision course with it. So, the tether must be severed, and the descent vehicle must fly off to crash somewhere else.
Dusting Problem

Some people may ask why the ropes are necessary. Can’t the descent stage reach the surface slowly along with the rover?

Over the years, scientists have learned many lessons. For instance, the Opportunity rover lost contact after a severe dust storm deposited enough dust on its solar panels to deplete solar power. Opportunity’s famous last message is still nostalgic.

My battery is low, and it’s getting dark.

If the descent stage with its boosters reaches close to the ground, it can quickly spur a dust cloud and render the solar panels useless, hence bestowing the same fate as the Opportunity rover. So, a considerably long tether is necessary.

Seven Minutes of Terror

It took nearly seven minutes for Curiosity to traverse the distance between the Martian atmosphere and its surface. The scientists named it the “seven minutes of terror,” because the Skycrane arrangement was a gamble to some extent, and one can never know.

Any signal from Mars takes 14 minutes to reach Earth. Imagine that a mission craft transmits a message on entering the atmosphere. By the time scientists receive the signal, the Mars Exploration rover would have landed and spent seven minutes on Mars, either dead or alive, thereby becoming a part of Martian history. 

Perseverance’s Descent and Landing features

Perseverance will adopt the Skycrane maneuver as well. But it has some additional features. 

  • The Range Trigger mechanism communicates when and in what direction to open the chute for the rover to land closest to the desired spot. 
  • The Terrain Relative Navigation examines the surface of the landing region. Accordingly, it diverts the rover such that it doesn’t end up near an obstacle or in a rough terrain. 

Previously, luck was a primary factor in ensuring an uneventful landing. Such incredible innovations have reinforced our control over the landing process.

Why are craters chosen as landing spots?

Massive asteroid collisions left Mars with significant craters. When an asteroid strikes, it can excavate deep-seated minerals onto the surface and trigger hot springs. Over time, life can exist in these regions.

Such crater regions are the apt places for the Mars exploration rovers to land and research.

NASA’s impression of the lake-shore of Jezero crater in Mars. Circle represents Perseverance’s landing site.

Curiosity landed in the Gale crater, and Perseverance will land on Jezero crater. Scientists believe that these places once held water. Years of observation have uncovered dry hexagonal cracks on the surface, which can testify the presence of clay

Sample Caching

Perseverance can even collect Martian rock samples and store them in 20 small tubes. It is something that no other rover did before. This process is Sample Caching.

NASA’s image represents stages of Caching

NASA aims to collect these samples because scientists believe that subsequent missions can retrieve them back to Earth. NASA deserves appreciation for taking these measures with a long term plan.

Ingenuity Rotorcraft

The Perseverance rover won’t go alone to Mars. Ingenuity rotorcraft will be its companion. For the first time in history, humans will witness a powered flight on a planet other than Earth. The rotorcraft weighs only about four pounds, but its counter-rotating blades can attain 2300 – 3000 rpm. One can think that Mars has only 38% of the Earth’s gravity. But the lighter Martian atmospheric pressure demands a significant power usage to lift the rotorcraft even a little.

Ingenuity Rotorcraft by NASA/JPL – CalTech

The Ingenuity rotorcraft is a technological demonstration that can revolutionize the mode of space exploration if it succeeds. It is because the area of observation on a planet will become manifold. Rotorcrafts, if done right, can cross steep hills, which is something Mars exploration rovers can’t do. With too much information regarding the mechanism and testing, Ingenuity craft deserves a separate article. 

MOXIE: Production of Oxygen
Oxygen producing mechanism employed in current and future Mars exploration rovers

MOXIE diagram by NASA/JPL – CalTech

The Mars Oxygen In-situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) is the real deal in this mission. This instrument works like a tree to convert the carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere to oxygen. Such an experiment, done on a large scale, can provide sufficient oxygen for breathing and propulsion. Moreover, the ultimate dream of setting up Mars bases will become a reality.

If humans indeed explore Mars and want to return home with their equipment, they will need tons of fuel whose availability from Earth is impossible. That is why an innovation like MOXIE is necessary. It will go down as one of the most exceptional and innovative trials in space exploration history.

MEDA: Awareness about Surroundings

The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) analyses the wind speed and direction, temperature, dust particles, and humidity of the Martian environment. It predicts the weather and how it affects the Perseverance rover while observing the solar radiation effect on the surface rocks. This information can lead to potential settlements on Mars.

Mastcam-Z: Eye of Perseverance

Mastcam-Z represents the two cameras on the rover’s mast with zooming ability. They serve as the Perseverance mission’s eyes that can look for valuable rocks and signs of water.

RIMFAX: Operating Underground

Radar Imaging for Mars’ subsurface Experiment (RIMFAX) can give a centimetre-scale resolution of the Martian subsurface. Also, it will be the first radar instrument to observe the underground of Mars and detect salt, ice water, etc. from the surface. Till now, only the orbiters carried the radar observation instruments. This innovation can lead to archaeological discoveries and uncover ancient life mysteries.

SuperCam: Blowing up Rock Pieces
Laser mechanism used in the two Mars exploration rovers, Curiosity and Perseverance

NASA’s impression of Curiosity’s ChemCam in work

Like Curiosity’s ChemCam, Perseverance’s SuperCam shoots laser towards a rock twenty feet away to vaporize a part of it. SuperCam’s microphone makes a variety of pops depending on the material properties of the vapor. Consequently, the scientists note down the chemical composition.

Microphones: Hearing Aids

There are microphones in the landing system that can detect the sounds during entry, descent, and landing. Additionally, they can note down the sounds of different instruments at work in the Perseverance rover.

Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) can observe the rocks to the precision of a grain of salt. This mechanism is necessary to locate any signs of microbial life. It also takes close up pictures/clips of its observations.

The observant SHERLOC

The name SHERLOC tends to ring a bell. Akin to the famous Sherlock Holmes, The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) is a detective. It has a magnifying glass, and it investigates the target at a safe distance to prevent contamination of clues. To identify some chemicals, it uses UV lasers. 

Imagine that Mars exploration rovers travel to the red planet only to collect meteorite samples entirely different from Martian composition. It would be one of the silliest mistakes of humankind. Here, SHERLOC comes to the rescue since it can differentiate between Martian and alien samples.

SHERLOC will also carry types of space suit fabric and helmet to test their compatibility with the harsh Martian environment

Watson: Assisting SHERLOC

When SHERLOC is present, the universal rule is that Watson should be present too. The perseverance rover has the Watson tool that can snap pictures of the other components at work and detect the amount of dust in the inlet of MOXIE.

Cameras and Wheels

The CachCam will snap the pictures of the collection and caching of Martian samples.

We have some other cameras in the descent stage, the front and rear of the rover. Some of them just assist the it in a convenient path. The camera above the it can observe the parachute’s deployment during the “seven minutes of terror.” There is also a camera to witness the ground view. There are a total of four cameras dedicated to observing the entry and landing alone. The rest 19 cameras concentrate on Martian surface operations.

Having learned a lesson from the worn and torn wheels of the Curiosity rover, the scientists have designed improved and more durable wheels for Perseverance.

Tribute to NASA’s Mars exploration rovers
Mars exploration rovers can provide crucial information for future human settlements on the planet.

NASA’s impression of humans in Mars

The two Mars exploration rovers, Curiosity and Perseverance, are very similar. The difference lies in fixing the landing terrain and the  rotorcraft concept.

To summarize this, the Perseverance rover aims to uncover Martian past and pave the way for a Martian future involving Humanity. Let’s keep up our spirit and observe the Mars 2020 mission with curiosity. After all, it is going to persevere in exposing something genuinely groundbreaking. Hopefully, that will bestow upon us an insight into Humanity’s future.

Sources, Wikipedia, Seven minutes of terror videoPerseverance rover


  1. Reading this article somehow makes me feel like watching a movie about Mars exploration. It’s both interesting and amusing when technology has advanced quite far to explore Mars. I also believe that one day in the future, we will finally able to build a settlement on Mars, though it may need some hundred years. I’m also looking forward to the next huge discovery from Mars 🙂

  2. Dear Madame, Dear Sirs!

    Newsletters via contact forms to the sites of firms via all domain zones of the world in all languages.

    website =» xn—-7sbb1bbndheurc1a.xn--p1ai

    This is a type of mailing using the feedback forms that are located in the contact section of the website and filled by our software automatically with a rate of a few thousand feedback forms per 1 minute, while the alphabetic and numeric code from the pictures (captcha) is also solved.
    After that, the messages including your cooperation offers are sent to the electronic addresses of firms.
    When sending mailing by contact feedback forms, it turns out that each internet resource sends an e-mail “to itself” and, therefore, all letters arrive in the inbox folder of the exact electronic address in which the company receives the commercial information.

    Fast one hundred % notification of companies and website owners about new commercial offers.
    Search of new customers that other types of advertisements cannot find.

    Finding new customers that cannot be found through other advertisements.

    1.100% delivery of commercial messages.
    2.Expansion of the client database.
    3. Increase of the your market share.
    4.Mailings based on regionality and topics.
    5. Sending letters to company officials.
    6. Demand study.
    7. Conducting marketing research.
    8. Conducting surveys and studying public opinion.
    9. Notification speed.
    10. Cost.
    11. Entering the markets of other countries.

    Our competitive advantages:
    1.When sending mailing by feedback forms, all letters arrive in the inbox. When sending e-mail newsletters, this can reach up to 5%.

    2.When sending mailing by contact forms it is possible to send a few million letters per 24 hours to inbox folders. When sending e-newsletters a few thousands arrive in the inbox folders, all the remaining ones often either are not delivered or fill the junk folder.

    3. When sending mailing by feedback forms an e-mail does not get blocked by mails because it is sent from different internet resources. When sending bulk e-mails it is possible to send a few thousands of those but nevertheless all the IP addresses from which the mailing is done will be blocked.

    4. When sending mailing by feedback forms the minimum of macro-synonims is used to form headings and text of the letter. When sending e-newsletters, it is necessary to use synonyms («macros») for each word and create ten thousand different headings.

    5. A lot of businesses deliberatelly hide their e-mail and only leave a contact form for contacting with them.

    6. When sending bulk e-mails, your business offer can be delivered to every employee of the business, (which causes irritation) compared to mailing by feedback forms where the message is received at the email specifically set up for business offers.

    7.50% of business electronic addresses are located on free mail systems, they are badly “searchable” by email, but when sending mailing by contact forms through these e-mail servers, all messages are hundred % delivered to the recipients.

    8. Only thirty-forty % of companies are published in the directories within two-three years, and the rest are already placed in our WHOIS databases and are waiting for your cooperation offers.
    Thus that mailboxes of firms from directories are spammed, and therefore they will not have such monetisation as when sending mailing by feedback forms using our the newest VOIS databases.

    9. Any kind of stop words in the body or headings of the letter can be sent through contact forms. When sending bulk e-mails, such messages either do not reach the recipient or arrive in junk.
    The list of stop words of mail systems includes almost all words and phrases that encourage recipients to take actions.


    1. Expanding the customer base.
    2. Quick notification of marketplaces about new cooperation offers.
    3. Reaching out directors.
    5. Conducting tenders.
    6.Conducting marketing campaigns.
    7.Conducting surveys and studying public opinion.
    8. Searching for clients in international markets.

    Reasons for purchasing this service:

    1. 100% delivery of your letters and cooperation offers to millions of organisations around all countries in the world.
    Every internet resource sends a letter to itself so all filters of mails are bypassed.

    2.Mailing by feedback forms is an excellent way in in terms of conducting various marketing researches, studies and surveys of public opinion on anydirection and type of activity.
    When sending mailing by feedback forms, you will definitely know that your message has been delivered to one hundred percent of users of your product and service and if a product or service is “badly promoted”, then the potential issue lies in other things, for example in price.
    At the same time, within 1 week you will see demand for your services and products, you will not have to spend money on rent and other more expensive and time-consuming marketing activities.

    3.Mailing by contact forms is the quickest and the most economical way to get your product or service to the markets of other countries.

    4. Mailing by contact forms is a great tool for conducting various tenders.

    5.Daily update of the databases, as more than 150,000 new Internet resources, are registered all over the world daily, and you, get new potential customers.

    6. Full geographical coverage for all countries of the globe.

    7. We offer customers that you will not find through other advertisement.
    When sending mailing by contact forms, you will be able to get to that part of your potential clients, that is impossible to “break through” in automatic mode in any other way.
    For instance, you will be able to deliver a cooperation offer to those potential customers that were earlier unavailable due to filters of mail systems while sending bulk e-mails.
    Now, there is a unusual situation: firms that got into the directories are actually filled with spam with all sorts of business offers while very little e-mails are sent to the remaining ones.

    8. Unique technology of decrypting the captcha.
    There are special services for unraveling numeric and alphabetic code (captcha/CAPTCHA). It costs one dollar to solve 1000 CAPTCHAs.
    It follows from this that, processing a million websites our robot solves one million CAPTCHAs, which costs thousand $ only to unravel captcha/CAPTCHA, and with our service this is free for you!

    9. By ordering mailing by feedback forms, you are promoting your service or product not to separate people, but to entire collectives, for example domain zone .com, where more than one hundred and fifty million cooperational businesses from all countries are collected (we have samples of them from international zones for every state).

    10. Mailing by contact forms also includes a subtype of text mailing
    Mailbox that is linked to the contact form is the primary e-mail of businesses through which orders and cooperation offers are sent. This mail is also set up for cell phones as it is necessary to respond to the information instantly so as not to lose the order or the relevance of the cooperation offer.

    11. The database of countries also includes all joint businesses from all over the world working with or closely related to this country, for example, national communities and diasporas.
    Sanctions of search engines and mail systems?
    These mailings are an alternative to sending mass e-mails, therefore search sanctions and “Ban” do not apply to them.
    The mail system delivers the data of letters to the inbox folder, as it goes through the “warm channel” from the new IP address of the site to the corporate e-mail of the same website.
    In other words, these mailings “live in emails” and filters of mail systems do not react to them, because mails have a great level of trust in communication channels between internet resources and corporate emails.

    You can purchase our databases separately from the mailing by sending us a enquiry by contact form.






    The simplest text + headings, the main goal is to interest the future client, and they will read the rest on your internet resource.
    Most likely, all ads on your subject are already on the Internet, enter the necessary requests into the search engine and choose the most successful ones.
    The headings are substituted randomly from text file.
    Only messages in the text form are sent, links are inserted without problems, they are active. If the future customer needs pictures or more detailed information, then you should forward the customer to visit your internet resource.

    In the letter:
    Text without pictures, since pictures do not pass through the feedback form.
    Your contact details:
    Website address:

    Fields to fill in:
    Several headings:
    Mailbox for automatic responces:

    website =» xn—-7sbb1bbndheurc1a.xn--p1ai
    Price List =» xn—-7sbb1bbndheurc1a.xn--p1ai/en/price/

Leave a comment