The Perseverance rover lands on Mars with technology from SENER Aeroespacial on board16/02/2021 (International)
On February 18th at 22 pm (Spanish time), the Perseverance rover, with SENER Aeroespacial technology, will be landing on Mars, starting the exploration of the Red Planet as part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission, called Mars 2020. The landing can be followed live on NASA's website.
SENER Aeroespacial has designed, manufactured, tested and integrated the pointing mechanism for the high gain antenna that allows direct two-way communication between the Perseverance rover and tracking stations on Earth.
As on the previous NASA Mars mission —Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)—, SENER Aeroespacial has been responsible for the HGAG pointing mechanism in cooperation with Airbus Defence and Space, main contractor for the system that comprises the gimbal and the high gain antenna.
The pointing mechanism has two degrees of freedom, azimuth and elevation, and is integrated on the rover platform, from where it can point the antenna precisely toward Earth. An actuator moves each axis independently to achieve the required velocity and accuracy. SENER Aeroespacial was also responsible for the hold down and release mechanism that provides a mechanical connection during launch and allows the subsequent operation of the antenna in Mars.