Mission to Mars

The world is currently under lockdown as a result of the pandemic. What's happening in space?

Introduction

Companies around the world have had projects put on hold due to the pandemic while others continued to strive in spite of the new obstacles that COVID-19 presented. NASA, the premier space exploration company, made the groundbreaking achievement of landing a spacecraft on the planet Mars.

Landing on Mars amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in February of 2021, the rover Perseverance lives up to its name representing the determination of the Aerospace engineering industry as a whole. Because missing the launch window due to COVID would have set the $2.7 billion mission back 2 years, it was crucial to continue the production of the Mars rover. As more and more regulations were being put into place regarding the health and safety of workers around the globe, NASA employees had to adapt to their new work conditions in order to progress with the project.

Underwood, Mark. “Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover.” NASA, NASA, 6 May 2021, mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

How NASA Rebounded

Moving into their homes, workers continued to work remotely in order to ensure the success of the project. Up to 90% of the workers were able to work remotely and were able to continue their respective parts. Their efforts were supported by programs and softwares that allowed teams to manufacture parts, plan the mission and get system engineers ready for launch. As NASA employees slowly began to move back on-site, new procedures were put in place to keep everyone safe. These included social distancing practices, PPE implementations, and access to hand sanitizer throughout facilities. One important aspect of the rover was a remote hazard avoidance system known as Terrain Relative Navigation; this would help the rover maneuver the varying landscapes of Mars autonomously.

Boyle, Alan, “Perseverance rover will go to Mars with a monument to COVID-19 medical teams” GeekWire.com, June 17, 2020 https://www.geekwire.com/2020/nasas-perseverance-rover-will-go-mars-monument-covid-19-medical-teams/

Determination

Despite CDC guidelines restricting the amount of people at central command, NASA has been able to successfully land the rover after its 7 month journey through space. The landing shows how engineers can get anything done with a little perseverance.

Mission to Mars

Type in your name and make your way to the top