— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 18, 2021
— NASA (@NASA) February 18, 2021
Taking advantage of the near alignment of Earth and Mars, flying about 300 million miles in almost seven months, the mission to Mars took off. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) Mars Rover Perseverance swept through the orange Martian sky and landed on the red planet about 2:30 a.m. on Friday, taking the “most dangerous” phase yet in an epic search to bring back rocks that could clarify if life ever lived on Mars.
Nearly seven months after its take-off to Mars, Nasa’s Perseverance rove landed on the red planet, becoming the fifth Nasa rover ever to land on Mars after Sojourner—the twin rovers Spirit of Opportunity and Curiosity, the U.S. Space Agency said.
“Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars,” said Swati Mohan, the flight controller. Perseverance will spend the coming years looking for evidence of ancient microbial existence in an unprecedented mission that will carry samples from Mars to Earth and pave the way for potential human visitors,” Nasa said.
Nasa scientists describe Perseverance as the most ambitious of nearly 20 US missions to Mars, dating back to the 1965 Mariner Flying.
This Landing marks the third visit to Mars in just over a fortnight. Two spacecraft from the United Arab Emirates and China swung orbit around Mars on consecutive days last week. The rover is fitted with a total of 25 cameras and two microphones, both of which have been turned on during descent. It took 11 1/2 minutes for the signal to reach Earth.
For the next two years, Percy, as it is called, will use its 7-foot (2-metre) arm to dig down and gather rock samples with potential signs of past microscopic life. The primary goal of Perseverance’s two-year, $2.7 billion initiative is to look for evidence of bacteria that might have existed on Mars about 3 billion years ago, around the time life was on Earth.