Out of this world

In reward of years of determination, NASA lands their official rover, “Perseverance”, on the surface of Mars


Perseverance’s photo of first drive on mars. PC: NASA Perseverance Rover

This past February 18th of 2021. NASA made history in for sparking a new age of research as they landed the Perseverance rover on Mars. Reaching its landing point at exactly 3:55 pm in US Eastern time the rover began its journey to help us learn more about this extraterrestrial world.

And quite the dream come true for many NASA engineers alike as Perseverance now is in the Jezero Crater in a world outside our very own. Expensive would be an understatement as the mission costed nearly 2.4 billion to launch and about 300 million to land.

The rover got right to work already messaging back numerous images of the bare dusty plain that makes up this planet. Revealing the starry night sky and the land covered with rocks as far as the camera can see.

Never having been done before, the mission’s main goal is to collect rocks and take pictures to eventually return to Earth in search of any past Martian life. It is stationed by an ancient river delta in which water used to be present, giving hope that there maybe be evidence that we can learn from. This project is the first step in bringing Mars rocks back to Earth.

Along with its other bells and whistles, Perseverance possesses two microphones to aid in picking up any possible sounds that will help us understand the planet more.

Throughout the first 3 months of its stay the engineers at NASA will work on, “Mars time”, which is 40 minutes longer than a single day on Earth. This being only one of their minor commitments to help complete their research accurately and help launch their plans for the rover that day.

This mission was anything but a walk in the park, constantly hitting problems. The rover’s planned landing was in an extremely challenging spot, having to dodge cliffs let alone boulders and dangerous sand dunes.

All in all, all their dedication has payed off immensely. With this big of a mystery for years and years, Perseverance can finally help bring light to what we have been attempting long and hard to analyze. The public may even be more on edge as they wait to hear any new news as the rover adventures the harsh terrain of the unknown territory.


Information from: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00432-1