It has been a year since NASA’s perseverance rover landed on mars Percy as it is nicknamed is on a two-year mission to find evidence of life some three to four billion years ago. The mission was ambitious, to say the least, the rover is searching for signs of ancient microscopic life the team was emotional when Percy as it is nicknamed landed near an ancient river delta in the Jezreel crater but a successful landing was only the beginning.
Whatever samples perseverance finds will be set aside for return to earth in a decade but the images collected with the rover will help NASA understand the red planet better, and facilitating future astronaut flights and the rover’s first finding was impressive the first-ever sample of Martian rock.
Nasa will team up with the European space agency to bring these precious rocks home they will then be analyzed in some of the world’s best labs but these rocks will only come home as early as 2031. Now that Percy is celebrating its first anniversary what lies ahead in the second year.
On March 2021, NASA announced that its mars 2020 perseverance rover successfully conducted the first drive on the Martian surface marking a major milestone the six field rover traveled about 6.5 meters in 33 minutes, and as it drove the rover’s navigation cameras snapped photos of its tracks in the dart behind. Perseverance landed on mars on February 18th earlier to accomplish the riskiest step to bring back rocks that could answer whether or not life ever existed on the red planet.
Perseverance is the biggest most advanced rover ever sent by NASA it is also, the ninth spacecraft that has been sent to successfully land on Mars, the car-sized plutonium part vehicle arrived at Jazeera crater on mars hitting NASA’s smallest and trickiest target the drive performed on march 4th served as a mobility test not only this the location from where perseverance began its mission on mars has now been named Octavia e butler landing after the name of a science fiction author Octavia e butler.
Katie Stack Morgan who is the Perseverance Deputy Project Scientist told that “I am honored and excited to announce that perseverance is landing site is now called Octavia e butler landing this image is from the mass can be camera located on the rover’s mast it shows a flat light toned rock on the right side of the image on which we’ve targeted the very first observation from supercam one of the rover’s instruments for analyzing the composition of rocks at the surface and what we can see in this image from the first high-resolution panorama from mass kmz are distant deposits of the jezro delta in the background the rocks in the foreground may be similar to those in and around the rover’s landing site but I’d like to call attention to the rocks in the mound in the background this is about a mile and a half away from the rover from the landing site which is the white dot there we’re considering two options to get to the delta a clockwise path and a counter-clockwise traverse so you can see here in blue and purple.”
Nasa’s perseverance engineers and scientists are already planning routes for the rover to travel to reach the river delta that once fed lake zero however scientists believe that if life ever flourished on mars it would have happened three billion to four billion years ago when water still flowed on the planet but perseverance that spent seven months flying through space to reach mars is now all ready to spend at least two years scoring an ancient Martian lake bed for signs of fossilized alien microbes.
(Image Source: NASA, Nature)