Mars rover 'persevering': Switzerland 'specially' involved in its success, according to NASA manager

A graphic representation shows the NASA rover “Perseverance” in use to study rocks on the surface of Mars.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/dpa (archive image)

The Mars rover “Perseverance” was an absolute triumph for NASA and space travel as a whole. According to NASA Administrator Jennifer Harris Drosper, Switzerland is significantly involved.

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  • The Mars rover “Perseverance” was intended to search for signs of life on Mars and was a complete success for NASA and space travel as a whole.
  • According to NASA administrator Jennifer Harris Drosper, Switzerland was “specially” involved in the success.
  • High-precision motors from a company in Obwalden move the robotic arm “Diligence” and the rotors of the helicopter, the secret superstar of the mission.

The “Perseverance” rover has been on Mars for almost three years. There he must search for traces of life. The mission is one of NASA's greatest success stories in recent decades.

And according to NASA Administrator Jennifer Harris Drosper, Switzerland made an important contribution. “Switzerland plays an important role in ensuring that the NASA Mars mission is a great success,” he said. SRF.

Accordingly, a robotic arm that picks up and packages rock samples on Mars moves with the help of motors from Switzerland. These are from the company Maxon in the province of Obwalden.

Soon we will go to “Europe”.

These “high-precision motors” are used in the “intelligence” helicopter drone, which can quickly change its flight direction.

Next, they want to launch another mission to the Red Planet, one that will be “much smoother than the last one” and bring rock samples back to Earth.

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“To do this, we need to launch a rocket from Mars and bring it back to Earth,” Trasper explains. A mission to Jupiter's moon Europa is also planned. Scientists also suspect evidence of life there.

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Packed with high technology

“Perseverance” is the fifth rover NASA has brought to Mars — previously “Curiosity” arrived there in 2012. The “Perseverance” robot, which weighs about 1,000 kilograms, has, among other things, 7 scientific instruments, 23 cameras, a laser and microphones.

In addition to images and videos, scientists and space fans around the world were particularly fascinated by the recorded sounds: “Perseverance”, among others, audio recordings of its landing, testing its laser and its journey to Mars – all of which have never been seen before.

Mini helicopter is very big

However, one very special passenger turned out to be the mission's secret superstar: the mini-helicopter “intelligence” was actually scheduled to last only 30 days. The helicopter has completed more than 50 flights so far.

The helicopter must withstand extreme conditions on Mars: temperatures drop to minus 90 degrees Celsius at night, challenging batteries and electronics. Because of the thin atmosphere, which is only roughly one percent as dense as Earth's, the rotors must be “intelligent” to accelerate to speeds many times what helicopters can achieve on Earth.

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In total, the mini-heli stayed in the air for more than half an hour, longer than scientists had previously thought.

With material from dpa.

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