Perseverance Lands on Mars

Perseverance and Ingenuity Land on Mars

Perseverance%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9Cfirst+look+at+their+forever+home%E2%80%9D-%40NASAPersevere+on+Twitter.

Perseverance’s “first look at their forever home”[email protected] on Twitter.

Bridget Scranton, Writer

On February 18, According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), “The largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world touched down on Mars Thursday, after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles.” Perseverance is 2,263 lbs and loaded with scientific instruments. In addition, “Along for the ride with Perseverance is an experiment to fly a helicopter, called Ingenuity, on another planet for the first time.” –CNN. NASA’S Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) confirmed the landing at 3:55 pm. 

Member of NASA’s team at the JPL in California watching images from Perseverance come in. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Perseverance will spend its time on Mars investigating the Jezero Crater, which was filled with water 3.5 billion years ago. NASA states “Perseverance will scour the Jezero region for fossilized remains of ancient microscopic Martian life, taking samples along the way.” Determining whether or not life existed on Mars is an enormous task, but that is Perseverance’s goal. Luckily, Perseverance is equipped with high-tech gadgets.

According to EarthSky, “Design-wise, the Perseverance rover is very similar to the Curiosity rover, which is currently in Gale Crater, but has some different science instruments.” One of these instruments is the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC) which includes a Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering (WATSON) imager. “Also with an eye on future Red Planet explorations, the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) technology demonstration will attempt to manufacture oxygen out of thin air-the Red Planet’s tenuous and mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere.”- NASA. Perseverance could bring about monumental scientific developments. Ingenuity could also provide some scientific developments. “Next-generation rotorcraft, the descendants of Ingenuity, could add an aerial dimension to future exploration of the Red Planet.” According to JPL. The 4lb helicopter is new territory for the scientific community. According to the BBC, “All NASA spacecraft launched to Mars since 1999-from the Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity rovers, to orbiting craft such as Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter- have not only succeeded but have operated long past their prime missions.”