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Look into the clean room NASA Mars 2020 Rover


NASA shared this view of the Mars 2020 Rover Descent System in 2018.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

NASA has only one working rover on Mars, but Curiosity is expected to welcome a new friend when the Mars 2020 rover starts on the Red Planet in mid-2020. NASA is currently building the new Explorer in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and you can get a glimpse of the process.

NASA planetary scientist Abigail Fraeman tweeted on Wednesday a video behind the scenes showing the activities in the cleanroom.

A lot of equipment is shown. The backshell, the Sky Crane, and the heat shield that will protect the rover from landing are all under construction.

NASA released an update on the build process in early February, which details the Rover itself, which has installed its interior electronics but still waits for its wheels and mobility system.

The most recognizable part of the puzzle in Fraeman's video is the descent part of the operation, which will help bring the rover to the surface of the planet after the heat shield is triggered. You can see it by looking for the big red guy.

To get to the bottom, the Rover will use a Sky Crane, which NASA compares to a large crane lowering a steel girder from a skyscraper. NASA used a similar system to transport the Curiosity Rover 2012 to a soft landing on Mars.

Fraeman also shared some photos with the words, "It's really starting to look roverish!" After NASA's long-lived opportunity rover was officially lost, it's exciting to look at Mars's next NASA resident. It will not be alone. ESA and Roscosmos plan to deploy the ExoMars rover Rosalind Franklin (19459005) to explore the Red Planet in 2021.

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