History has been made once again as NASA has lifted the Perseverance rover on its 7-month journey to Mars in hopes of finding ancient life.
After their successful collaboration with SpaceX for launching Crew Dragon to the International Space Station, NASA has dominated the aerospace again with its successful launch of Perseverance.
Next stop: Mars. Our @NASAPersevere rover and Ingenuity Mars helicopter are on the way after a successful launch today. Landing is slated for Feb. 18, 2021. https://t.co/Dh09kJXAb6 #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/tGTc3M4TQl
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) July 30, 2020
With its seven-month journey duration to the Red Planet, the Mars Perseverance rover will find signs of ancient life upon its landing on the Jezero Crater.
The reason why NASA scientists chose this location is that they believed that it was once an ancient river delta, and that could be a good starting point in finding evidence of life on Mars.
The Perseverance launch marks the third spacecraft to launch to Mars this month. China and the United Arab Emirates have also launched their space missions.
As per NBC News, China’s Tianwen-1 mission, which includes a Mars orbiter, lander, and rover, lifted off on July 23. In addition, the United Arab Emirates successfully launched an orbiter named Hope to Mars aboard a Japanese rocket on July 20.
Humans have robotically explored Mars more than any other planet beyond Earth since the 1960s. Currently, eight missions from the U.S., European Union, Russia, and India are actively orbiting Mars or roving across its surface, per National Geographic.
Additionally, getting safely to the red planet is no easy task. 26 out of 45 Mars missions have had a lot of failures such as falling silent en route, missing orbit around Mars, or components dying prematurely.
Perseverance equipped with groundbreaking technology
The Mars 2020 rover is based on its Curiosity rover configuration. Curiosity is another rover that explored Mars and also made its landing on the Gale Crater last 2012. After years of research, NASA was able to uncover an oasis inside the Red Planet.
The Perseverance rover has state-of-the-art tools for acquiring information about the Martian planet, from the atmosphere all the way down to detecting potential biosignatures.
It is very well equipped with extraction tools that will help in collecting specimens from the Red Planet for NASA’s future studies if Mars could be a livable planet for humans.
Aside from its sophisticated tools, it is also equipped with more advanced cameras such as the Mastcam-Z and the SuperCam designed to provide quality imagery as well as to detect minerals.
This ambitious rover also has an attached helicopter called Ingenuity that will also fulfill a mission of performing its first flight on Mars once Perseverance lands early next year.
Race to finding life on the Red Planet
The reason why these countries are launching rockets this month is that there is a certain time that the distance traveled from Earth to Mars is drastically reduced, says Business Insider.
Space enthusiasts may have to wait until February 2021 if these flights will become successful. The race for space dominance is on for NASA and the rest of the world.
Featured Image courtesy of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center/YouTube Screenshot