Mars 2020 rover: How far we’ve come

by birtanpublished on August 16, 2020

Nasa is about to launch its brand new rover to mars perseverance but how exactly does the rover built in 2020 stack up against the first ever mars rover from the 90s it's time to put these two machines head

To head after almost eight years in development perseverance is set to take off in july 2020 and if everything goes to plan it'll

Touch down in february 2021 becoming the most advanced rover we've ever sent to mars perseverance builds on a lot of the key tech used in the curiosity rover which landed on mars in 2012

But it's also getting some kick-ass upgrades it has new landing technology so it can choose its landing site it's carrying its own scouting helicopter and it also has new hardware

To collect samples and store them in a cash on board but how does perseverance stack up against this guy this is sojourner the first ever rover to land on mars as part of the pathfinder mission in 1997.

If this was a game of choose your fighter then perseverance is like a high-tech car and sojourner is more like a microwave literally firstly perseverance is way bigger it weighs in at just over 1

Metric tonne or 2 200 pounds and measures roughly 3 by three meters or nine by ten feet compare that with sojourner which was actually the size of a microwave weighing in at eleven and a half kilos

Or twenty-five pounds but it's not just about size perseverance is way smarter it's got a 200 megahertz processor 256 megs of dram and two gigs of flash storage not only

That it doesn't just have one internal computing system it has two one of them stays asleep so it's always got a backup brain all that computing power helps the rover

Do some pretty cool stuff it can measure its own temperature and power levels as well as how much it's tilting on the surface of mars it can shoot pictures and video record audio with its built-in microphones

And communicate back to earth by sending signals via orbiters around mars and then there's the mars helicopter ingenuity it's hitching a ride to mars underneath the perseverance rover and it's set to perform a series of

Test flights in the thin martian atmosphere compare all this with sojourner which was sent up to mars in the 90s with little more than a two megahertz processor and 64 kilobytes of ram

That's nothing not only that but the cpu in this thing was the same one you'd find in this radio shack portable computer that meant sojourner was kind of limited in what it could do it had batteries but

They weren't rechargeable so it had to rely on a solar array and those solar cells could generate 16 watts of power in the middle of the day which meant that according to nasa it was using about the same amount of

Power as an oven light it communicated with the pathfinder lander using a radio modem which means that kind of like an adorable toddler if the rover strayed more than 10 meters away

From the lander pathfinder couldn't see it anymore finally let's look at the cameras when perseverance lands on mars in 2021 it will be packed with 23 cameras these will shoot full color video of its

Descent onto mars and capture images of the landing parachute opening which is a complete first there are six hazard cameras two navigation cameras and a brand new

Cash cam which sounds like something from a game show but is actually a new camera designed to capture pictures of rock samples for its part sojourner had a color camera on the back and then

Two black and white cameras on the front which we used to stitch together these really cool 90s 3d images but let's not dissojourn sojourner too much this was 1997 when the height of technological cool was

Getting your hands on a tamagotchi and it was pretty good for its time it was designed to last for seven martian days or souls but it actually lasted for 83. in that time it traveled more than 100 meters

It did chemical analysis on rocks and it brought us back some really vital information about mars and most importantly it won nasa's cool robot of the week award in december 1996

Which is a hundred percent a real thing and very cool also sojourner was pretty cheap by nasa's standards the rover itself cost 25 million dollars to build and

The whole pathfinder mission cost 265 million or about 430 million dollars u.s in today's money by comparison nasa originally budgeted 1.5

Billion for the mars 2020 project but now that figure is closer to 2.5 billion dollars but we're also going to see some great science come out of the mars 2020

Mission the perseverance rover is going to search for water below the martian surface and try and create oxygen out of the martian atmosphere

Both of which are vital steps towards getting humans on mars one day we're also going to see that little catch of samples which is going to be retrieved by a later mission and most importantly the ingenuity mars

Helicopter this will be the first spacecraft that we launch off another world which is an amazing feat but for a rover made in the 1990s sojourner punches way above its weight

It's pretty cool for a little microwave oven we sent to mars so what do you guys think do you think another mars mission is awesome or should we be directing our eyes elsewhere in the solar system

Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out our other space videos we've got some great stuff for you to watch alright cheers guys

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