Earth is just two days away from completing another full rotation around the Sun. It’s the 2021st rotation since the birth of Jesus Christ. Astronomers had been pretty active this year as well, and it’s amazing to see once again that science achieves new heights.
NASA has sent its Perseverance rover for exploring the surface of Mars for quite a while. The launch occurred in July 2020, and it proved to be a successful mission. As for now, the American space agency wants to highlight to most important events that its Mars rover has been through in 2021, and it does it through the following video:
Here are some of the rover’s achievements, as Jessica Samuels, the Surface Operations Mission Manager, reveals:
● Over 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometers) driven
● A new record set for the longest drive in a day spent on Mas
● Six samples and counting of Martian rock and atmosphere that could eventually be carried to Earth for study
● Over 50 gigabytes of science data gathered
● Over 100,000 images returned, and we can include two “selfies” here
● 18 flights by the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter of NASA, which hitched a ride and coordinates flights with the Perseverance rover
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains the purpose of the Perseverance rover as follows:
A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover is characterizing the planet’s geology and past climate and paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. Perseverance is the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).
2022 will be a great year for astronomy if everything goes as planned. The James Webb Space Telescope was launched by NASA on Christmas, and it’s expected to look deeper into the galaxies than ever before and reveal precious data for science.