NASA launches rover to look for signs of ancient life on Mars

NASA's next-generation Mars rover Perseverance launches this morning

Shortly after launch, the spacecraft entered into a shadow when Earth temporarily blocked the sun, causing the outlet temperature to drop, and the difference between the warm inlet and cooler outlet to increase.

"That's perfectly fine, the spacecraft is happy there", he said.

About an hour into the flight, controllers applauded, pumped their fists and exchanged air hugs and pantomimed high-fives when the rocket flawlessly broke out of Earth's orbit and began hurtling toward Mars. However, telemetry (more detailed spacecraft data) had not yet been acquired at that point. We are working to configure the ground stations to match the strength of the spacecraft signal. The spacecraft will remain in safe mode until it receives new commands from mission control. Later, the spacecraft's signal was acquired by the Deep Space Network, confirming communications and that all systems on the rover were operating.

"Jezero Crater is the ideal place to search for signs of ancient life, said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. As our instruments investigate rocks along an ancient lake bottom and select samples to return to Earth, we may very well be reaching back in time to get the information scientists need to say that life has existed elsewhere in the universe".

With the successful launch and release, the Mars 2020 spacecraft, which consists of the Perseverance rover (with attached Ingenuity helicopter), the cruise stage, which is used to contain and protect the components during their flight to the red planet, and the Entry, Descent, and Landing System, which is used to safely land the payload on the Martian surface via an Aeroshell, parachute descent vehicle, and sky crane, has begun its almost 7 month journey to Mars.

All the materials, designs, and environmental testing of the tires were handled at NASA Glenn's simulated lunar operations lab to ensure they can handle the harsh landscape.

The Mars sample return campaign is being planned by NASA and the European Space Agency to investigate the samples with instruments too large and complex to send to Mars. Jettisoning the outer layers, firing the engines, and doing the entire sequence at specific periods and intervals are all crucial to push the rover on to its journey towards Mars.

Belarus probes Russian mercenaries for 'terror' plot
The state-run Belta agency reported that Belarus had also launched a criminal case against Syarhei on suspicion of inciting riots. Ambassador Mezentsev said that the detained Russian men were transiting through Belarus and were en route to a "third country".

It will also test a method to produce oxygen from the atmosphere, use radar to locate natural resources like subsurface water, deploy advanced zoom cameras to image the landscape in 3D, and measure Mars' unique weather system that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars with a suite of environmental sensors.

Also future-leaning is the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which will remain attached to the belly of Perseverance for the flight to Mars and the first 60 or so days on the surface.

Perseverance will also be collecting important data about Mars' geology and climate.

The mission itself is a big problem for China, as it will include not only an orbiter to monitor the planet from above, but also a rover that will be sent to the surface to explore and analyze various things.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Mike Watkins quipped about the California quake: "It was just the Earth being excited about going to Mars". "In the same way, the descendants of Ingenuity and MOXIE will become valuable tools for future explorers to the Red Planet and beyond".

Matt Wallace, the deputy project manager for the Mars 2020 mission, said that despite the minor issue, the spacecraft still operated properly.

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