A new robotic explorer designed by NASA has successfully completed its journey to Mars. About traveling nearly about 300 million miles, the land rover safely landed on Mars. It took off from a Florida launch pad.
The rover touched down the surface of the red planet on Thursday at around 03:55 p.m. EST. Before the final landing, the rover has endured almost 7 minutes of trouble. Due to the fiery atmospheric entry the descent was made using a parachute.
For a guided landing the rover’s guided mechanism fired 8 retrorockets to slow it down to be placed at a proper spot. Use of nylon cords was helpful in lowering the rover to the planet’s surface.
NASA Rover Lands Successfully On Mars
NASA Engineer Swati Mohan quickly exclaimed about the completion of the touchdown. She added that the Perseverance is safe on the Mars surface and is now ready to start seeking any evidence of past life.
It was told that the descent of the rover is unique in itself. The landing maneuver was quite successful in deaccelerating the rover from a speed of thousands of miles an hour to just 1.7 miles per hour during the touchdown. The transmission is delayed almost by 11 minutes from the Earth’s surface to Mars. No human input was thus provided for the landing and the rover has done everything by itself.
The rover itself confirmed the successful touchdown in a way by sending a good image. The mission managers at the Jet propulsion laboratory at NASA received the data from Mars satellite. The first image sent by Perseverance is a dusty and desolate landscape that appears scary but is of great potential for the scientists.
Perseverance was sending images through its hazard-detecting navigational cameras. The images were received continuously by the team on Earth just minutes after the landing of the rover on Mars.
JPL chief engineer Rob Manning confirmed that the team was already well aware of the exact location of the landing spot.
Manning was quite happy and said that the mission is successful because of the many arms, many hands and many brains that worked hard on the project. He said that NASA worked as a team player and have achieved a great success and by working together anything is achievable.
The land rover is placed at the Jezero crater. It is believed that the crater once was lake that was fed by rivers of running water. Perseverance’s main focus will be on the rocks and the regolith. The instruments on the rover are designed to hunt for any signs of past life through these prime targets.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s science mission, said that the land rover, perseverance, is the robotic astrobiologist from NASA. It is the first robot that is sent to the Mars for exclusively looking for the signs of ancient life.
The unique thing about Perseverance is that it run on nuclear power unlike the older rovers on the planet that relied on the thermal power. Therefore, it is expected to last long on the dusty surface of the red planet. It is also faster and more advanced than its predecessors.
NASA is expecting that the mission taken up by the perseverance is likely to last about one Martian year. One Martian year is equivalent to two Earth years.
Perseverance has a mass of 2,200 pounds. It is equipped with several suites of instruments. The instruments will prove handy while collecting, analyzing and storing the rock samples. A drill is also provided at the end of the arm. The systems capable of performing X-ray and UV spectroscopy of the samples right on the Martial surface are also available.
It is expected that any slightest of evidence of past life on the red planet is worth a Nobel prize work.