Mars rover perseverance lands for historic mission to collect signs of ancient life

  • 27 Feb - 05 Mar, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has successfully touched down – and, for the first time ever, humans will soon be able to see footage of a landing on the Red Planet. Last week, the unmanned rover – which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 30, inside the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket – landed at 3:55 p.m. ET on the Jezero Crater, an area scientists previously said they believe could have been a "possible oasis in [the planet's] distant past." The landing marked an end to what NASA calls its "seven minutes of terror" – many things had to go right as the rover descended to the surface by using NASA's intricate sky crane system. The milestone – which was made possible by a decade of work by hundreds of experts – is the first time video captured a spacecraft landing on Mars, thanks to cameras and mics on the rover. Over its mission time of one Mars year (which translates to about 687 Earth days), the Perseverance – NASA's ninth mission to land on Mars – will collect rock and soil samples in the hopes of finding evidence of ancient life on Earth's closest neighbouring planet. The goals for the Mars endeavour are to also explore and analyse the geology of the planet's environment to "assess ancient habitability." Another desired outcome is to "demonstrate technology for future robotic and human exploration" to the planet.