NASA’s Perseverance Rover was launched on July 30, 2020 at 7:50 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force station, Florida. The duration of this mission will be equivalent to one Mars year, i.e., about 687 Earth days. Furthermore, the rover will reach the surface of the red planet by February, 2021.
Jezero Crater was finalised as the landing site of the rover in November, 2018.
“The landing site in Jezero Crater offers geologically rich terrain, with landforms reaching as far back as 3.6 billion years old, that could potentially answer important questions in planetary evolution and astrobiology,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life.”
“The Mars community has long coveted the scientific value of sites such as Jezero Crater, and a previous mission contemplated going there, but the challenges with safely landing were considered prohibitive,” said Ken Farley, project scientist for Mars 2020 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “But what was once out of reach is now conceivable, thanks to the 2020 engineering team and advances in Mars entry, descent and landing technologies.”
NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, is keeping us updated with his tweets about the whereabouts of the rover.
More About the Landing Site
The landing site of Perseverance Rover, Jezero Crater, is believed to have traces of ancient microbial life. It is also believed that water once flowed on the surface of Mars.
Job of the Perseverance Rover
The rover will search for the existence of microbial life on Mars’ surface. It will collect samples of rocks and soil, and will store them in sterilised titanium tubes. The rover has a tool called SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals), which can detect the presence of Organic matter. Moreover, it will help the rover in identifying the presence of chemicals and minerals on the planet’s surface.