This NASA landing animation shows its new Mars rover generation landing in the Jezero crater. NASA
Perseverance, the rover NASA's most ambitious interplanetary to date , was slowly lowered to the surface of an ancient lake bed on Mars on Thursday, February 18. After the weather "seven minutes of terror A-ton six-wheeled science lab gently landed on Mars at exactly 12:55 pm PT. It was Swati Mohan, NASA engineer, who provided the final critical words : "Touchdown confirmed.
Hoots and Hollers rang throughout NASA Mission Control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Upon landing, but it wasn't like past landings on Mars. jubilant engineers jumped off the chairs, but social distancing requirements kept them (mostly) from their usual warm hugs.
It 's what lan Ding a rover on Mars during a global pandemic looks like .
"What an honor to the team " said Steve Jurczyk, Acting Director ofe NASA. "Everything went pretty much as planned.
Before landing, astronomers expressed a mixture of excitement and nervousness." The one thing that is key to a successful mission is a safe landing, "said Glen Nagle, outreach manager at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex in Australia, part of NASA's satellite dish network, communicating with robots across the solar system. "Neither we nor the mission scientists have any real control over all of this.
The Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) procedure is nicknamed "the Seven Minutes of Terror" - - and for good reason, because a lot can turned bad. But the perseverance hit the atmosphere moving at around 12,000 miles per hour and slowed to a complete stop in 420 seconds, a process NASA is practically now having now. NASA landed for the last1st time a rover on Mars in August 2012, when Perseverance 's cousin, Curiosity landed to study carbon-based molecules .
The mission is scheduled to last one year on Mars, equivalent to approximately 687 Earth days. But if history is something to follow, NASA will be able to expand it further as it did with previous rover missions, like Curiosity .
Coming days, we can expect to see and hear how the landing happened. The NAS InSight LanderA listened from his home position, Elysium Planitia, near the equator of Mars, as Perseverance entered the thin atmosphere. And the mobile itself is equipped with a suite of cameras and a microphone to capture all the details. "It's a new, sensory way to engage with the red planet," said Alice Gorman, a space archaeologist at Flinders University in Australia. "We can close our eyes, imagine ourselves standing on the surface of Mars and listening to the sounds of Martian nature.
Celebrations in the control room ofNASA at JPL Mission Control. NASA
The first images of the mobile were returned to mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory moments after touchdown. They were captured by the left and right risk prevention cameras, two front cameras on board the rover. They are a little dusty and only one picture in one group, but they are wonderful. A handful of high-res images followed by a particular piece capturing the last moments of the rover before landing the choice of the peloton.
Editor 's note: Other video footage from the EDL phase shouldent be revealed on Monday, February 22. You can follow here .
Then the science begins. Perseverance's mission will begin a new era of discovery on the red planet. Its point of Landing in Jezero crater would once have been covered with water. Where there is water, there is potential for life. "These are the types of conditions under which microbial life started on Earth, ”says Brendan Burns, an astrobiologist at the University of New South Wales.
" Percy ", as the rover has been affectionately known, will hopefully discover signs of life spent in the crater.
"This mission builds on years of exploration which have shown that Mars was once much more habitable than it is today , but Perseverance can show if it wasIt's not inhabited "says Alan Duffy, professor of astrophysics at Swinburne University of Australia. Science
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In a post-touchdown briefing, Ken Farley said the landing spot is "a great place to be " because it 's right on the of two "geological units " - basically, it's right in the middle of different types of rock. By sampling this area, Perseverance should be able to learn a lot more about Jezero's geological history. NASA's Dragonfly , which is expected to take over the sky from Saturn's Titan moon in 2034.
NASA's Perseverance rover returned its first glance to the surface de Mars on February 18, 2021. NASA
Back on Mars, Perseverance is expected to collect soil samples that he can hide and leave on the surface for a future mission to Mars to collect. This return sample would be the first of its kind on the Red Planet. "It's like the coolest thing there is. Says Bonnie Teece, a Ph.D. candidate at the Australian Center for Astrobiology. "There are still things we cannot do far away, and questions we can only answer with questions.samples from Mars here on Earth. "A Russian-led sample return mission was attempted in 2011, but the spacecraft never made it into orbit.
Perseverance launched on July 30, 2020 , in the morning sun off the Florida coast aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V. He has spent the past seven months traveling from Earth to Mars, sheltered from the Harsh space environment in Mars 2020 spacecraft.
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Watch this: Here's how NASA's Perseverance rover will get the rocks from Mars ... 2:06
Updated Feb. 22: Add links to the first Perseverance images.