Categories
Insane World

NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars to search for life

After a seven month journey through space, NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on the surface of Mars on Thursday, the probe is on a mission to search for the signs of ancient microbial life.

“Touchdown confirmed,” said operations lead Swati Mohan at around 3:55 pm Eastern Time as mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena erupted in cheers.

The autonomously guided procedure was completed more than 11 minutes earlier, which is how long it takes for radio signals to return to Earth.




US President Joe Biden hailed Perseverance’s “historic” landing.

“Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility,” he tweeted.

Over the course of several years, Perseverance will attempt to collect 30 rock and soil samples in sealed tubes, to be eventually sent back to Earth sometime in the 2030s for lab analysis.



About the size of an SUV, it weighs a ton, is equipped with a seven foot (two meter) long robotic arm, has 19 cameras, two microphones, and a suite of cutting-edge instruments to assist in its scientific goals.

About 30 minutes prior to its landing, the spacecraft careened into the Martian atmosphere at 12,500 miles per hour, protected by its heat shield.

It then deployed a supersonic parachute the size of a Little League field, before firing up an eight-engined jetpack to slow its descent even further, and then eventually lower the rover carefully to the ground on a set of cables.

Its target site was “absolutely treacherous for landing,” Allen Chen, lead engineer for the landing stage said Thursday.

The rover is only the fifth ever to set its wheels down on Mars. The feat was first accomplished in 1997 and all of them have been American.