The US space agency NASA has successfully launched its probe on the surface of Mars on Thursday evening. At 9:56 PM, the mission console received a recovery signal that the rover had safely landed. Perseverance is the ninth thing for NASA and the fifth thing on Mars.
The successful landing meant that the spacecraft survived “seven minutes of terror,” or the landing, which lasted approximately seven minutes.
During this action, the probe and the rover are blasted through the atmosphere. If it has entered too sharply, the probe may have burned out. If it got too horizontally, it could pass through Mars.
After entering the atmosphere, the probe was slowed by a parachute. Then a kind of flying crane with persistence came out of the probe.
The crane was looking for a good landing spot to lift the car from about 20 meters to the ground from there. Once the car stopped, the wires clapped and the crane broke in front of it.
The United States is the third country to reach Mars in a week and a half. The United Arab Emirates became the first Arab country to bring a satellite to Mars a week ago, and China also put a vehicle into orbit. China wants to place a rover on Mars in May, making it the third country to have a vehicle on the planet.
This is what the decline of persistence looked like. (Video: NASA)
Rover searches for traces of life in a dry lake
Perseverance has landed in the Jezero Crater, which was a large lake 3.5 billion years ago. NASA hopes to find traces of (microscopic) life here.
The vehicle will also fill in soil samples. A future mission in which NASA is partnering with its European counterpart ESA is to collect these beams and return them to Earth.
An artist’s impression of Jizero Crater billions of years ago, when there was still water in it. (Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech)
The mission includes 10.9 million names and honors for healthcare workers
The mission has not only scientific goals, but symbolic goals as well. For example, three slides were attached to the plane, with the names of 10.9 million people around the world who signed up for this.
There is also a sign on board that honors healthcare workers who have dedicated themselves to Earth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three-ply sign in the upper left, on which nearly 11 million names have been placed. (Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech)
An experimental helicopter navigated with perseverance
Perseverance also took the little helicopter ingenuity with them. NASA wants to use this to test whether the helicopter is valuable in exploring a planet with a thinner atmosphere.
The helicopter weighs less than 2 kg, and its hull is about the size of a kettle. Perseverance first looks for a place where creativity can first take off.