Florida, US – NASA has announced that their Perseverance rover has safely landed on Mars.
The $2.7 billion robotic explorer named Perseverance landed on the surface of Mars 15:55 ET on Thursday after a nearly 300 million-mile journey since it left Earth more than 6 months ago on July 30, 2020.
According to NASA the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance NASA’s quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars.
“This landing is one of those pivotal moments for NASA, the United States, and space exploration globally — when we know we are on the cusp of discovery and sharpening our pencils, so to speak, to rewrite the textbooks,”Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk.
NASA also stated that the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission embodies the spirit of persevering even in the most challenging of situations, inspiring, and advancing science and exploration.
The mission itself personifies the human ideal of persevering toward the future and will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s.Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk.
Perseverance also carries instruments that could help further exploration on Mars in the future, like MOXIE, the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. This experiment, about the size of a car battery, will attempt to convert Martian carbon dioxide into oxygen.