Today we are keeping a close eye on Mars as NASA’s Perseverance Rover touches down to research the surface and search for ancient life!
The Perseverance will land in the Jezero Crater on Mars. It has spent the last 7 months travelling through the solar system to the planet and will spend at least one Mars year (about 687 Earth days) collecting samples and researching the environment.
The mission began with the launch of the deep space rocket in July 2020. The rocket used its 5 boosters to blast the rover into space for its 7-month mission to Mars.
This mission will also bring the first ever helicopter to Mars, the Ingenuity. This helicopter will test to see how powered flight will work in Mars’ thin atmosphere.
Once landed, the Perseverance rover will begin its ground mission. Sampling soil and searching for signs of ancient life on Mars.
Landing on Mars is hard. Only 40% of rovers actually land safely. During landing, the rover will plunge through the thin Martian atmosphere, with the heat shield first, at a speed of over 12,000 mph (about 20,000 kph). Then, a parachute will deploy to slow it down for a graceful landing.
Go watch the landing with your family - find all the information on the Nasa website.
Titanium and aluminum wheels to glide over knee-high rocks and uneven terrain.
The ‘Super Cam’ is a top-notch camera that is able to look up and down.
SHERLOC is a camera that takes extreme close-ups of the land.
The rover body carries and protects the computer, electronic and instrument systems. It is about the size and weight of a car!
The power source of the rover is on its back, is made of 2 batteries and weighs about 99lbs (45kg)!
The mast of the rover lifts the key camera and sensors to give a human-scale perspective on the environment.