NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance all set for a launch this week

The rover is expected to launch on July 30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US
NASA on March 5, 2020 announced the name of its next Mars rover - Perseverance. It will be the fifth exploratory vehicle on the Red Planet.(AFP)
NASA on March 5, 2020 announced the name of its next Mars rover - Perseverance. It will be the fifth exploratory vehicle on the Red Planet.(AFP)
Updated on Jul 27, 2020 09:38 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Sparshita Saxena

NASA is all set to launch its Mars rover Perseverance this week under a mission that is expected to last at least one Mars year or about 687 Earth days. The rover will seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth, the US space agency said.

“We’re going back to Mars! @NASAPersevere will be launching soon for its seven-month journey to the Red Planet. And it’s bringing along a friend: a helicopter named Ingenuity!” NASA tweeted on Sunday.

The rover is expected to launch on July 30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is expected to land at Mar’s Jezero Crater in February 2021. The crater is a giant basin which is believed to have once contained water.

The rover will be landing in a place with high potential for finding signs of past microbial life. “Perseverance will also be collecting important data about Mars’ geology and climate,” NASA said in a press release.

Also read: NASA’s summertime on Saturn image amazes people

The rover will be accompanied by a helicopter called Ingenuity which will help test the first powered flight on Mars which could assist future rovers on the Red Planet.

About Ingenuity - it is an experimental flight test and will be the first aircraft to attempt controlled flight on another planet. “If Ingenuity succeeds, future Mars exploration could include an ambitious aerial dimension,” the space agency stated.

NASA on March 5, 2020, announced the name of its next Mars rover - Perseverance. It will be the fifth exploratory vehicle on the Red Planet following in the tire tracks of the similarly augustly titled Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity.

Also read: China launches ambitious attempt to land rover on Mars

The name was announced at an event at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, to congratulate the seventh-grade student who picked it, Alex Mather.

Like its forebears, Perseverance was named by school-age children in nationwide contests - starting from Sojourner in 1997 to the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which landed on Mars in 2004, to Curiosity, which has been exploring Mars since 2012.

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