NASA Perseverance Rover Hits Ground

February 18th marks another date in history as NASA’s latest Mars rover officially hit ground and begun it’s exploration.

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NASA

On February 19, 2021 this rover officially landed on Mars before beginning it’s mission. The photo was taken as the rover was descending down onto the planets surface.

Riley McGroarty, staff writer

On July 30, 2020, NASA launched its Perseverance Rover on a mission to Mars. Just recently, on February 18, the rover landed on Mars in the Jezero Crater and will begin its mission to explore the planet. According to the official NASA Mars website, the main goal of the rover is to find signs of potential ancient microbial life, as well as get a bunch of rock samples to research them back here on Earth.

The rover itself is composed of several cameras and scanning devices, which will take pictures of the surface of the red planet, and be able to scan geological objects directly from the rover. These will be able to send data back to NASA where they will be able to do more research based on the samples that the rover collects.

In addition to cameras, the rover also comes equipped with microphones. Although audio doesn’t seem very relevant, it is a big part of the research done at NASA, because if they hear something off, they will potentially be able to discover something new. Alongside that, the rover also comes with hardware enhancements, navigation systems (that allow it to travel faster and more efficiently than any other Mars rover in past years), and complete more objectives in a quicker period of time.

Already, Perseverance has taken some great photos, all of which will help NASA scientists observe anything about Mars, even if it is something small. Small things will help the current and future missions in some way, even if it doesn’t seem relevant. NASA has set several “interest spots,” for a depot cache strategy, and one of which contains a sample tube.
The way that this works is that a spot will be provided leading Perseverance to travel to these spots and search for things of interest, such as rocks. Once it is done with one spot, it will move back to the one with the sample tubes, then it will go to another and back, and will repeat this process for at least a Martian year. according to NASA.

The hope that comes with Perseverance is that the rover will find plenty of samples, each of which is more important than the last, and maybe will even find ancient life on a rock sample or something more important entirely. The one thing that we know for sure is that Preservance is continuing to help NASA make history and continue their research in space. It’s amazing to see what NASA has done and what they continue to do even now. At the moment all we have to do is sit and wait for Perseverance to update us on what it’s found with hopes of it being legendary and mind-blowing.