The Perseverance rover operated by NASA was perseverent enough during its over six months journey through space, and it landed on Mars’ Lezero crater. The historic touchdown took place yesterday, February 18, and it means the beginning of a very important quest.
Perseverance’s main mission is to look for traces of microbial life that may have dwelled on the Red Planet in the distant past. The chances are very low that the rover will find any life forms living on our neighbouring planet in the present.
The US President congratulates NASA
The new President of the US, Mr Joe Biden, had only great things to say about NASA’s touchdown:
Congratulations to NASA and everyone whose hard work made Perseverance’s historic landing possible. Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility. pic.twitter.com/NzSxW6nw4k
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 18, 2021
Swati Mohan, who’s navigation, guidance, and control officer monitoring at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, declared as cited by CBSNews:
Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance is safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the signs of past life!
Flight engineers didn’t hesitate to start applauding and cheering. The deployment of the rover cost $2.4 billion, which speaks for itself when it comes to the huge ambitions behind the spacecraft. Jennifer Trosper, deputy project manager, declared:
Our job is to think of all the bad things that can happen and try to avoid those, and when all good things happen, you feel like you’re dreaming. And I’m happy to feel like I’m dreaming!
The Perseverance rover is not the only machine included in the Mars 2020 mission of NASA. The helicopter drone Ingenuity is also part of the mission. An Atlas V launch vehicle carried the Mars 2020 mission, and the lift-off took place on July 30 2020, at 11:50 UTC.
NASA announced its Mars 2020 mission even since almost nine years ago on December 4, 2012. It happened during the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting from San Francisco.