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Perseverance: 10 things to know about NASA's most advanced Mars rover

The American space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has successfully landed its Perseverance rover in a deep crater near the planet Mars' equator called Jezero.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Cape Canaveral Updated on: February 19, 2021 13:00 IST
Perseverance rover fires up its descent stage engines as it nears the Martian surface. This phase of
Image Source : AP

Perseverance rover fires up its descent stage engines as it nears the Martian surface. This phase of its entry, descent and landing sequence, or EDL, is known as "powered descent."

The American space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has successfully landed its Perseverance rover in a deep crater near the planet Mars' equator called Jezero. Engineers at NASA's mission control in California erupted with joy when confirmation of touchdown came through. 

Here are some interesting facts to know about NASA's Martian rover - Perseverance:

  • Perseverance, the biggest, most advanced rover ever sent by NASA, became the ninth spacecraft since the 1970s to successfully land on Mars, every one of them from the U.S.
  • The car-size, plutonium-powered vehicle arrived at Jezero Crater, hitting NASA’s smallest and trickiest target yet: a 5-by-4-mile strip on an ancient river delta full of pits, cliffs, and rocks. Scientists believe that if life ever flourished on Mars, it would have happened 3 billion to 4 billion years ago when water still flowed on the planet.
  • Over the next two years, Percy, as it is nicknamed, will use its 7-foot (2-meter) arm to drill down and collect rock samples containing possible signs of bygone microscopic life. 
  • Three to four dozen chalk-size samples will be sealed in tubes and set aside to be retrieved eventually by another rover and brought homeward by another rocket ship. The goal is to get them back to Earth as early as 2031.
  • Scientists have sent the rover on Mars with more than just one aim -- searching for signs of ancient microbial life, characterizing the planet's geology and climate, collecting carefully selected rock and sediment samples for future return to Earth, and paving the way for human exploration beyond the Moon.
  • Perseverance landed on the Jezero Crater on the Martian surface, which is 28 miles (45 kilometers) wide. According to NASA's earlier discovery, around 3 billion and 4 billion years ago at Jezero, a river flowed into a body of water the size of Lake Tahoe. 
  • NASA's modest first rover – Sojourner – demonstrated in 1997 that a robot could rove on the Red Planet. Spirit and Opportunity, which landed in 2004, found evidence that the planet once hosted running water before becoming a frozen desert.
  • NASA and the European Space Agency has also planned that the bring a sample-gathering system to Mars that will package promising examples of rocks and sediments for return to Earth by a future mission. Perseverance is the first rover to bring samples to the earth from the mars. 
  • The Perseverance rover and other parts of the spacecraft feature 23 cameras – more cameras than any interplanetary mission in history. These cameras will help engineers put together a high-definition view of the landing process after the rover safely touches down on Mars.
  • Perseverance also carries three silicon chips with the names of nearly 11 million people who signed up to ride with the mission.

ALSO READ | NASA rover lands on Mars, to look for signs of ancient life

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