US – On July 30, NASA launched a unmanned rover that will land on an ancient waterbed that should have sustained life on Mars years ago.
Perseverance rover landing is planned to happen today around 2:15 pm on NASA Facebook live, and if successful will be the fifth rover on Mars.
It has taken the rover almost 7 months to travel from earth to Mars for this event. The rover the size of a car will make one of the most daring robotic maneuvers in NASA History.
“Perseverance paves the way for new science and technological discoveries,” said Jim Reuter, the associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). “The knowledge and capabilities we gain from this mission will help prepare us for human missions on Mars as early as the 2030s. Technology will drive that exploration.”
Capabilities needed by future pioneers will get their first test on the Red Planet in 2021. Hardware to ensure a precise landing, a mobile weather station, and a brand-new method of producing oxygen from carbon dioxide are packed with all of the science gear.
NASA is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the Moon, part of a larger strategy to send the first astronauts to the surface of Mars. But before they get there, they’ll be faced with a critical question: What should they wear on Mars, where the thin atmosphere allows more radiation from the Sun and cosmic rays to reach the ground? Part of Perseverance is to find out those questions.