The success of the touchdown was on no account a foregone conclusion – of all of the missions ever despatched to the Mars’s floor, solely about 40 per cent have landed safely. Perseverance is the most important rover ever despatched to Mars, which made the touchdown much more troublesome. Its arrival at Jezero crater was heralded by cheers and audible reduction in NASA’s mission management room in California.
The spacecraft used a warmth defend after which a parachute to decelerate from about 20,000 kilometres per hour to lower than four kilometres per hour, and was then lowered rigorously to the floor by a sky crane much like the one which was used within the Curiosity rover touchdown in 2012.
The principle distinction from the Curiosity landing was a brand new navigation system that took photos of the touchdown space and in contrast them to maps to pick a protected spot to the touch down. “That is lastly like touchdown together with your eyes open,” mentioned Perseverance staff member Swati Mohan through the on-line NASA livestream of the touchdown.
Subsequent, engineers will run well being checks on the rover and its devices earlier than starting to discover the planet’s floor. The rover has two fundamental targets: to select up and stash samples of Mars mud and rocks that might be returned to Earth by a deliberate 2026 mission, and to seek for indicators of ancient life.
“Primarily based on all the pieces we learn about Mars prior to now, it completely ought to have been able to supporting historic life,” mentioned Katie Stack Morgan, additionally a Perseverance staff member, through the livestream. “Learning the potential emergence of life on historic Mars may also assist us higher perceive the circumstances that led to life on our personal planet.” The seek for historic life on Mars begins now.
Extra on these matters: