Perseverance Rover Successfully Lands On The Surface Of Mars
By Bill Galluccio
February 18, 2021
After a journey lasting over six months, NASA's Perseverance rover successfully landed on the surface of Mars. Perseverance is the fifth rover NASA has sent to the red planet. Perseverance was launched on July 30 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and traveled 293 million miles to reach Mars.
Perseverance's mission will be to look for signs of microbial life in a massive 28-mile wide crater that scientists believe was once flooded with water.
The rover is the size of an SUV and is the most technologically advanced rover NASA has sent to Mars. It is equipped with two dozen cameras and equipment designed to measure the planet's geology and take soil samples that will be sent back to earth. It is also carrying a small four-pound helicopter named Ingenuity, which will perform the first-ever controlled flight on another planet. It is capable of flying for about 90 seconds at a time and can travel about around 1,000 feet and reach heights of between ten and 15 feet.
"Mars captivates our imagination and has been part of our dreams for many decades, and Perseverance balances on the long history of systematic science-driven exploration of Mars," Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator of the science mission directorate, said prior to the landing.
Photo: Getty Images