We are coming up on the Perseverance Rover landing this week! Sorry for the late notice on this, things are still a bit crazy here in preparation for landing and operations afterwards.
So, here are some details about the landing if you want to follow along:
Actual landing time on Thursday 2/18/2021
~3:55 PM ET (2:55 PM CT, 1:55 PM MT, 12:55 PM PT)
The streams will start an hour or two so before the landing.
We enter the critical entry timeline about a half hour before the landing, so if you were planning to tune in I would think it would start getting exciting around then.
* Top level pages:
* All streaming info: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/watch-online/
* You should be able to find the stream via youtube fairly easily via NASA page:
* The above stream should have all the “fun” commentary and stuff as it will be hosted more like a show you would expect.
* If for some reason you just want the raw feed with our comms and stuff without all the hosted content, that will be here:
* I think that this page will also be showing a simulation of the landing in parallel with the real thing:
I will not be available to help point anybody to streams or things on landing day as I will be on console at JPL starting at 9 AM PT. If any of you have issues I’m sure an email out to this group would get a response from somebody who has figured it out.
Now for some other facts and info:
M2020 has traveled 289.6 million miles on its 292.5 million mile journey to Mars. Today the spacecraft is approximately 124.4 million miles from Earth, 370,463 miles from Mars, and 145.6 million miles from the Sun. The spacecraft velocity is 64,465 mph relative to Earth, 5,768 mph relative to Mars, and 47,923 mph relative to the Sun. One-Way Light Time 11 min and 8 sec.
We will enter Mars atmosphere and land via the dreaded skycrane maneuver. Here is a video about the landing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4tdMR5HLtg
So far, my subsystems have checked out nominally and everything is looking good for landing.
My systems are the Descent Motor Controller Assembly which is the main electronics that control the rocket thrusters during landing, and the Rover Motor Controller Assembly which control all of the electronic motors on the system for things like driving, using the arm, drilling, pointing cameras/antennas, deploying the helicopter.
On landing day, I will be on console at JPL (may show up in the live stream, who knows..). My job on landing day will be to assess motor controller performance and verify results of the health checks I have designed to ensure systems are operational after landing.
In the days that follow, I will also be involved in the deployments of the antenna and remote sensing mast and also have architected the transition plan for motor controller software. The first couple of weeks will be extremely busy for me as we have a lot of commissioning and first time activities to do right away. We will also be operating on “Mars Time” for up to 40 days. This means my start times could be shifting by ~3-4 hours a day and will result in some very odd scheduling. At some point in the first month we will also deploy the Mars Helicopter, which I was responsible for designing the deployment methodology for using the motor controller.
It is a very exciting time. This landing has been the goal of mine since I watched the last mission (Curiosity) land in August 2012. At that time I was not doing well in school and was still recovering from the loss of my friend Daniel. The Curiosity Rover landing inspired me in such a profound way that I was able to use that event as motivation to work my ass off every day to get here now. It is truly a humbling experience to be a part of, and in some ways a bittersweet moment for me. I have worked so long to achieve this goal and to be so close is hard to comprehend.
Thank you all for the love and support you have given over these years. I am always a bit shocked to see how excited everyone is and how closely you all pay attention to what is happening.