Almost seven month after the takeoff, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s ambitious “Perseverance Rover” landed on the Red Planet at around 2.30 am on Friday. Flight Controller Swati Mohan confirmed the touchdown of the rover on the Mars. After Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity, Perseverance has become only the fifth NASA rover to ever touch down on the Red Planet. “Perseverance Rover”, with the size of a car, is being described as the biggest and most advanced rover ever sent by NASA. The rover overcame on its own, what NASA described as, “seven minutes of terror” descent. According to NASA, “Perseverance Rover”, in this historic mission, will look for signs of ancient microbial life and bring back samples from the Red Planet.
This landing marks third visit to the Red Planet in just over a week
Perseverance has become the third visitor of the Red planet in just over a week. In the last week itself, two spacecraft- one from UAE and another one from China swung into the Mars’ orbit on successive days. All the three spacecraft lifted off in July taking the advantage of close alignment of Earth and Mars. The Perseverance Rover shared two images of the Red Planet just after landing on the Jezero crater. This ambitious mission would cost NASA over $3 billion. The rover has been equipped with 25 cameras and 2 microphones with many of them turned on during descent. The signal reached the Earth after a tensed period of 11.5 minutes.
In the coming years, Perseverance Rover will collect rock samples with possible signs of microscopic life. NASA expects to get the rocks back to Earth as early as 2031. The rover will also conduct experiment of converting small amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere into oxygen. Scientists at NASA are of the belief that if life ever flourished on mars, it would have happened 3 to 4 billion years ago. With the landing of this Rover, NASA will be certainly looking to get to know more about the Red Planet.