NASA today released stunning new footage of the Perseverance rover’s arrival on the surface of Mars.
The Perseverance rover traveled to the red planet on July 30, 2020. After a largely uneventful transit through space, it succeeded in touching down on the surface of Mars on February 18, 2021 at 20:55 UTC.
I love stones. Check out these right next to my bike. Are they volcanic or sedimentary? What story do they tell? I can’t wait to find out. # CountdownToMarshttps: //t.co/7w3rbvbyoL pic.twitter.com/H3q1M0YJAd
– NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 19, 2021
Its mission, according to NASA:
Look for signs of old life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for a possible return to earth.
The rover has been working hard in the red dirt of Mars all weekend and will likely stay there forever. But that won’t stop it from completing its mission of sending samples back to Earth. Once Perseverance gets the correct samples, plans are made to fire them back to Earth using rockets.
However, this is not expected to happen until 2031. In the meantime, the rover is traveling on Mars, which is just too difficult to land directly on.
And that brings us to this fascinating video NASA released today showing the rover’s descent to the surface of Mars:
For more information, see the Endurance page on the NASA website here.