Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars, NASA Confirms

NASA rover perseverance to land on Mars today

Larger and packed with more instruments than the four Mars rovers preceding it, Perseverance is set to build on previous findings that liquid water once flowed on the Martian surface and that carbon and other minerals altered by water and considered precurors to the evolution of life were present.

All three missions lifted off in July to take advantage of the close alignment of Earth and Mars, travelling some 483 million kilometres in almost seven months.

Percy, as it is nicknamed, was created to drill down with its seven-foot (two-meter) arm and collect rock samples that might hold signs of bygone microscopic life. It's not an easy task, especially with the landing zone being Jezero Crater - a wide basin filled with rocks that scientists believe was once an ancient river delta.

The landing also was watched on TV by San Diego City College astronomer Lisa Will, who said, "The sound of the people in Mission Control celebrating brings me to tears every time".

However, you can clearly see the surface of the planet in black and white.

Communications from Ingenuity to the rover are made through a Zigbee radio link over 900 MHz SiFlex chipsets mounted in the rover and helicopter.

This will attempt the first-ever controlled flight of an aircraft on the surface of another planet. It takes 11 minutes for a signal from Mars to reach Earth, which means the entire descent will be over before we receive the first signals it's begun.

In total there are 23 cameras on Perseverance, some of which will be used to take footage of the rover's landing, otherwise known as the "Seven Minutes of Terror".

The NASA rover Perseverance has touched down on Mars.

It takes seven minutes for the rover, which enters the Martian atmosphere moving at 12,000 miles per hour, to hurtle down to the surface.

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Using its navigation cams located on the front and back of its body, Perseverance was able to share two black and white photos after its intense entry, descent, and landing, giving us Earthlings a small glimpse at the Jezero Crater where it will perform its scientific missions.

This rover is the heaviest NASA has ever attempted to land, weighing in at over a metric ton.

Since Perseverance's launch in July 2020, Willis has been working on getting the rover ready to collect samples once it arrives on Mars.

This is the second one-tonne rover put on Mars by the U.S. space agency. "Does it just emerge whenever and wherever the conditions are ripe?" said deputy project scientist Ken Williford.

It's engineered to touch down Thursday afternoon using a supersonic parachute to slow its speed.

"The Ingenuity team will be on the edge of our seats with the Perseverance team on landing day", said MiMi Aung, the Ingenuity project manager. NASA has three Mars satellites still in orbit, along with two from the European Space Agency.

The Jezero Crater is where the Perseverance rover, with FiberTech Optica's technology onboard, landed Thursday. Of course, it doesn't have any provisions for passengers, but it does have a bevy of cameras and instruments created to explore and study Mars in greater detail than ever before.

"It is not guaranteed that we will be successful", Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's Science Mission Directorate's associate administrator, acknowledged.

Not only could this help NASA scientists learn how to produce rocket fuel on Mars, but also oxygen that could be used during future human exploration of the red planet.

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