Two 115-feet parachutes to help UK’s first rover ‘Rosalind Franklin’ land safely on Mars
The team that carried out the tests at the desert has confirmed that the full-scale high-altitude drop test of the two 115-ft parachutes that would deliver the Mars rover in 2023, is successful.
November 27, 2020 / 08:48 PM IST
The United Kingdom’s first robotic Mars rover, named after scientist Rosalind Franklin, is all set to land on the Red Planet in 2023. The rover successfully underwent parachute tests at the Oregon desert and is ready to be delivered to Mars with the help of two massive 115-feet parachutes.
The team that carried out the tests at the desert has confirmed that the full-scale high-altitude drop test of the 115-feet parachutes was successful. The parachutes fell from 28.96 km above the desert and “worked as expected”, reported the Daily Mail UK.
The UK Mars rover ‘Rosalind Franklin’ was due for launch earlier this year, but all the plans got derailed due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the European Space Agency (ESA) eventually postponed the mission.
For the rover to land on Mars in early 2023, it needs to be launched by September 2022. Some more tests need to be completed before that is done.
Notably, Rosalind Franklin is one of three rovers that are headed for Mars and are due to be launched in the next two years. The other two are NASA’s ‘Perseverance’ and China’s ‘Tianwen-1’. Both of these have already been launched and are expected to land on the Red Planet by February 2021.
At the time of Rosalind Franklin’s Mars landing, the first parachute will open when the module slows down to 1,056 mph from 13,048 mph due to atmospheric drag. Then, around 20 seconds later, the second parachute will open when the module will be barely 0.8 km away from the surface of the Red Planet.