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NASA Perseverance Rover Sends First Photo From Mars

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NASA Perseverance rover sends first photos from Mars: The rover landed successfully on Mars after a seven-month-long journey on February 18. The images received are from Perseverance’s Hazard Avoidance Cameras (Hazcams), which help with driving.

After a journey of almost seven months in the space, NASA’s ambitious endeavour to Mars Perseverance successfully landed on the Red Planet’s surface at 2:25 am IST on Thursday.

The most sophisticated rover of NASA to ever land on Mars, Perseverence reached the surface of the planet after “7 minutes of Terror,” which refers to the time when the rover essentially had to land itself on Mars with no help from NASA, due to a one-way 11-minute time-delay.

The ground teams told the spacecraft when to begin EDL (entry, descent and landing) and the spacecraft took over from there, as mission control anxiously waited.

The landed rover will now gather data as well as signs of ancient life in a crater that once contained a lake about 3.9 billion years ago.

The control room of NASA in Pasadena, California erupted with joy as the rover, which they lifted off in July 2020 after years of preparation with flying colours, confirmed touchdown.

Celebrating the achievement, Rob Manning, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory chief engineer and landing veteran, said, “When we put our arms together and our hands together and our brains together, we can succeed. This is what NASA does. This is what we can do as a country, on all of the problems we have, we need to work together to do these kinds of things and make success happen.” Indian-origin, Dr Swati Mohan was a part of the team that successfully landed the rover Perseverance on Mars.

After its successful landing on the Martian surface, Perseverance sent the first image of its mission to Earth. There will be more and better-quality photos to receive in time to come.

NASA Perseverance

Credits: NASA /Youtube Screenshot

NASA’s Perseverance is aiming to conduct the following tasks on Mars:

  • To explore the Jezero Crater, the site of an ancient lake that existed 3.9 billion years ago. The rover will search for microfossils in the rocks and soil there.
  • To capture images of its surroundings and send them back, unfold its ‘head’ and click more pictures. Teams on Earth will go through a month of inspections, software downloads and preparations for roving.
  • Over a process that takes about 10 days, the rover will drop a helicopter, named Ingenuity, on the surface of Mars and roll away from it. The 4-pound helicopter will have to charge itself using solar panels, even amidst freezing nights. Then, it will be ready for its first flight, which will last for around 20 seconds.
  • It will search for evidence of ancient life as well as study and examine Mars’ climate and geology. It will also collect samples that will eventually be returned to Earth by 2030s.
  • Perseverance will collect the first recordings of sound on Mars.

 

Read more about Perseverance here.