NASA mentioned Thursday that the Perseverance rover has touched down on the floor of Mars after efficiently overcoming a dangerous touchdown part often known as the “seven minutes of terror.”
“Landing confirmed,” mentioned operations lead Swati Mohan at round 3:55 pm Japanese Time (2055 GMT) as mission management at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory headquarters erupted in cheers.
The autonomously-guided procedure was completed more than 11 minutes earlier, which is how lengthy it takes for radio indicators to return to Earth.
“WOW!!” tweeted NASA Affiliate Administrator Thomas Zurburchen as he posted the Perseverance’s first black and white picture from the Jezero Crater in Mars’ northern hemisphere.
– NASA (@NASA) February 18, 2021
The rover is simply the fifth ever to set its wheels down on Mars. The feat was first achieved in 1997 and all to this point have been American.
Concerning the dimension of an SUV, it weighs a ton, is supplied with a seven foot (two meter) lengthy robotic arm, has 19 cameras, two microphones, and a set of cutting-edge devices to help in its scientific objectives.
Perseverance now embarks on a multi-year mission to seek for the biosignatures of microbes which may have existed there billions of years in the past, when circumstances had been hotter and wetter than they’re at the moment.
Ranging from summer time, it would try to gather 30 rock and soil samples in sealed tubes, to be ultimately despatched again to Earth someday within the 2030s for lab evaluation.
“The query of whether or not there’s life past Earth is likely one of the most basic and important questions we are able to ask,” mentioned NASA geologist Katie Stack Morgan.
“Our means to ask this query and develop the scientific investigations and know-how to reply it is likely one of the issues that make us as a species so distinctive.”
NASA additionally needs to run a number of eye-catching experiments — together with trying the primary powered flight on one other planet, with a helicopter drone referred to as Ingenuity that must obtain carry in an environment that is one p.c the density of Earth’s.
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