NASA speaks on Mars rover mission

NASA officials gave a briefing on the upcoming Mars rover landing on Thursday.
6:48 | 02/16/21

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Transcript for NASA speaks on Mars rover mission
Morris helicopter arriving at that belly off the road or right. As we demonstrate control flight in a different world. We could in fact not land in Chester a crater if it wasn't for that technologies. That are ready attitude casts. Marsh is hard and be never a success for granite. And as we want to land on Mars it's been posted to of course important. And will do so with cameras. So he entire world this inspired with house. And asked me do new and tough things and demonstrate these new technologies. Because whether it's on the rat planet. Or here at home on I'll work bloom are. Science can bring this to patter and create solutions to challenge tests that seem impossible act first. I'm really looking forward and it or do you Jennifer was of course the deputy project manager and get away Jennifer. Think you I am so excited to be here today. I can tell you that perseverance is operating perfectly. Right now. I all systems are go for landing. Last Friday night we actually sent a command to the spacecraft we call it the do EDL command. Do entry descent and landing. It makes it sound simple it's not simple. But it enters a spacecraft into the timeline where it starts to do with the entry descent and landing activities that was a very exciting event. The spacecraft has focused the team is focused and we are all ready to go for landing. And I want to tell you a little bit more about where we're acts so did you bring up my first graphic. This is something that you can actually look at it's called eyes on the solar system. And it tells you where different spacecraft are in the universe and so we can tell you that Mars perseverance is a 102 point five million miles. Away from earth and we are only 370000. Miles from Mars so we are getting. This time it actually takes for a signal. To go from earth to Mars is eleven minutes and so that's how we're communicating with the vehicle right now. And now one of the things that we've been working towards. Is really making sure that the aim points were targeted for at Mars so we want to theme like on dart board. The fifteen point is accurate. And so one of the ways that we do not act is through these plots that you can pull out the next graphic there this is Colin attic patient beef pot. And that actual target the bull's eye of that target is the green box. The greenbacks if we think we're going to target anywhere and that green box everything is great. What you see your some colorful collapses the upper right hand corner of that box. Those and the pluses in the middle of the pluses are where we think we're targeting and the lips is are the uncertainties around those. So that means those glimpses are being within that green box it means that the TV is on the bulls I'd. And we are headed exactly room going to be for Mars. Now getting those navigation solutions is not that easy and we need a lot of support from the deep space network so you can go ahead to my next graphic. The deep space network has stations are all over the world. There is some in Madrid Spain summoned. Goldstone California and some in Canberra Australia actually go to DS and now. And you can see the real time live shots just like we're looking at now to see which stations are operating and communicating with with which spacecraft. And mark me when he is ticking to stations right now if your kids so. One I think all of the deep space network operators across the world who've helped us we've Davis had 24 seven coverage transferred the last. Several weeks so that we could get such good data to have those perfect navigation solution so thank you. And as I. Sit back and this is my my fifth landing I've been on every Grover that we've ever sent. If that usual sort of anxiety but the very much excitement for what we're going to see. I look at the decade aids that we spent building these rovers and building these teams to cents cents to Mars and on a talk about that discriminate. I think back to sojourner the very first through her we landed on Mars you can see this next graphic. Sojourner was about the size of a microwave oven very small and even though it's. Our old lists that child there I'll kind of like additional children for me it it's sort of behaved like a youngest child had a very free spirit in us is defined mission. To drive around and then you can see the spirit and opportunity rovers. For the next evolution we built off what sojourner had done. Spear an opportunity actually could talk to earth all by themselves they still use solar panels and there are these twins that explored all over. Mars in an out lived their life time. By multiples of ten and even a hat and and they were just great rovers and then. We kind of took a Pozen we really upgraded our systems and you can see curiosity down and the lower left hand part of this this graphic. Curiosity. We let from solar panels to repeal isotope stores. The wheels increase Dan's eyes we can traverse over much larger rocks and different terrain. We had Ed that sky crane landing system instead air a bit bags in the early. We really made a step up and then perseverance. Even though it looks a lot like curiosity. Is another technological. Step forward and Adam is going to talk a lot about that after I'm finished here. And so in closing the one final thing I want to talk about is it's not just about the rovers and in fact. It's about the people build the road. And spend this moment to just thank the team for all of their work over the last almost decade. To bring us to where we are today. The team isn't just a bunch of people who are all the same it's a bunch of different uniquely skilled personnel who know very deeply. All the technical things they need to know in order for all those things to come together and very complex system. Like the ones that we land on Mars so thank you to that team. And I want and my Spain. Both for landing day on Thursday and further a whole surface mission. I wish that he'd been great success. That they have worked so hard to detain over the last many years.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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