NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) is working together with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its Perseverance mission. The rover team landed safely on Mars on February 18, 2021, to survey the planet’s surface.
AWS posted on their website’s public sector blog about the role of cloud computing technology in processing and storing data transmitted from NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars.
The cloud platform of AWS allows JPL to handle hundreds of images the rover cameras capture every day. “The cloud helps NASA JPL to store, process, and distribute this high volume of data,” AWS noted.
To gather scientific and audio information during the Mars mission, AWS indicated that Perseverance also uses several sensors and microphones.
“The sensors will gather scientific data like atmospheric information, wind speeds, and weather. The microphones will collect the sounds of the planet. This data will be processed by JPL and made publicly available so viewers can explore Mars alongside NASA JPL,” said AWS.
The Perseverance rover’s mission is to explore Mars’ geology and search for evidence of ancient life. It started on July 30, 2020, and continues to find samples of rock and soil that may be brought to Earth.
“The rover requires visibility to drive, so it is important for the team to be able to send the next batch of instructions back to the rover within a specific time frame. The increased efficiency will allow Mars 2020 to accomplish its ambitious goal of collecting more samples and driving longer distances during the prime mission, compared to previous rovers,” AWS explained.
The Mars 2020 mission has an AWS-powered website designed to handle vast volumes of user interactions throughout each day. NASA will make this data available to the public.
NASA will also deliver a 3D experience where individuals can virtually view the perspective of Perseverance on Mars. This gives an opportunity for the public to discover Mars with NASA JPL.
“AWS is proud to support NASA JPL’s Perseverance mission,” said Teresa Carlson, AWS Vice President for Worldwide Public Sector and Industries.
“From the outset, AWS cloud services have enabled NASA JPL in its mission to capture and share mission-critical images, and help to answer key questions about the potential for life on Mars,” she added.
The AWS and NASA JPL collaboration began more than five years ago. AWS administered the contest and the campaign websites during the preparation of the Mars 2020 Rover mission.