NASA's Perseverance Rover Successfully Lands On Mars

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NASA's Perseverance Rover Successfully Lands On Mars

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover has successfully landed after a long journey to the red planet. The touchdown was confirmed at 3:56 pm Eastern time and was met with huge celebrations at the command centre. Roughly about half of the previous attempted landings on Mars have resulted in failure and the landing ship being lost.

The rover landed in the Jezero crater after what is known as the '7 minutes of terror', the time in which the craft descends onto the planet. It is during this descent that missions often fail. Falling at an initial 12,000 miles per hour, the rover slowed itself using rockets and a massive parachute to just 2 miles per hour before making a landing as soft as a feather.

The Jezero crater is believed to be the home of an ancient river and is surrounded by huge cliffs and sand dunes which could be observed immediately from the rover's live camera feed.

Allen Chen, who led the landing team, told BBC news:

"We are in a nice flat spot. The vehicle is only tilted by about 1.2 degrees. So we did successfully find that parking lot and have a safe rover on the ground. And I couldn't be more proud of my team for doing that."

The purpose of the mission is for the rover to examine Martian rock, and in particular search for signs of prehistoric alien life. It is proposed by many scientists that Mars did at one point have a water and oxygen supply and that the planet could therefore have maintained living beings.

The rover will be able to travel around 650 feet per day, meaning that over time a significant area of land can be examined. The rover also comes with a mini-helicopter that can be sent up to fly over the surface and collect more data. Once this helicopter is airborne, it will become the first ever flight by a man-made object on another planet.

Among those to congratulate the NASA team was US President Joe Biden, who tweeted:

"Congratulations to NASA and everyone whose hard work made Perseverance's historic landing possible. Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility."

So far, only two countries, the Soviet Union and the United States, have landed rovers on Mars. However, that is to change come May when a Chinese rover called Tianwen-1 Mars lander will also attempt to make a Martian touchdown.

[h/t: Futurism]

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Thinking Humanity: NASA's Perseverance Rover Successfully Lands On Mars
NASA's Perseverance Rover Successfully Lands On Mars
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover has successfully landed after a long journey to the red planet. The touchdown was confirmed at 3:56 pm Eastern time and
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