NASA's Perseverance rover sends first pictures of Mars to Earth
NASA's Perseverance rover landed on Mars' Jezero crater late last night. The challenging mission is aimed at finding signs of life on the red planet. Operations lead Swati Mohan confirmed the rover's landing on the Jezero crater. Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena were exuberant as the news broke.
Perseverance rover tweets pictures from Mars
Perseverance rover's Twitter handle will provide regular updates from Mars
The rover has its own Twitter handle, using which it relayed pictures of the Martian surface as well as news of a successful touchdown to the anxious folk on Earth. This is NASA's most advanced rover deployed for planetary exploration. The space agency's administrator Steve Jurczyk deemed the successful landing a pivotal moment for NASA, the US, and space exploration globally.
Jurczyk says the rover embodies the American spirit
Jurczyk said the world is at the cusp of discovery and sharpening its pencils, so to speak, to rewrite the textbooks. He added that the 2020 Perseverance rover mission embodies America's spirit of persevering even in the most challenging of situations. He reiterated that the rover mission will help humanity prepare for exploration of the red planet.
Perseverance rover will carry out missions over one Martian year
The Perseverance rover is akin to a robotic geologist and astrobiologist rolled into one. It will undergo several weeks of testing before it begins its mission lasting one Martian year, which is a little less than two Earth years. Perseverance will investigate the rock and sediment of Jezero's lakebed and river delta to determine past climate on the planet.
Rover will scout for signs of ancient microbial life forms
The other primary objective of the rover is to scour the surface for signs of ancient microbial life. The analysis of the geology of the Jezero crater could provide scientists invaluable insights into the possibility of sustaining life on Mars. The Perseverance rover is equipped with cameras, sample collection equipment, a surface radar, and a host of other gizmos to assist in its mission.