After zipping hundreds of millions of miles through space, the Mars rover, named, Perseverance landed at 2:55pm local time today. The car-size rover, which launched in July 2020, landed on the red planet in what has been described as one of the most daring robotic maneuvers in NASA’s history. Perseverance is now NASA’s fifth rover to land on the red planet and will kick off the agency’s most ambitious mission yet to examine whether life ever existed on Mars. Here is a video snippet from the NASA website right after the rover landed.
Reporter: How does it feel to have another rover on Mars ?
Steve Jurczyk, Acting NASA Administrator: “It’s amazing to have Perseverance join Curiosity on Mars and what a credit to the team. I mean just what an amazing team to work through all the adversity and all the challenges that go with landing a rover on Mars plus the challenges of COVID and just an amazing accomplishment.”
Reporter: What does this mean for NASA and it’s future plans ?
Steve Jurczyk, Acting NASA Administrator: “So for robotic exploration every time we execute a mission with new instruments we discover new things and things we never thought we would discover so that always informs our future robotic missions both landers, rovers, and orbiters. This mission also has technology on it, one of the cool things is the Ingenuity helicopter. It’s an experiment on this mission but if it’s successful we can use it as a science observation platform by putting instruments on it and also use it as a scout for future rover missions and then just the landing capability. It will allow us to land more larger, more ambitious robots on the surface of mars and then for human exploration we have the MEDLI, Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation which is going to give us EDL (Entry, Descent, and Landing) information. We have the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer it’s going to give us size and properties of dust particles because when we send people we’re gonna have to deal with that dust and this is just an incredible mission because of the science and the technology and then caching samples for a Mars sample return mission that will be an amazing mission, the first round trip to Mars and back and bringing those samples cached by Perseverance back to earth to examine with state of the art equipment in our laboratories here on Earth.”
Chris Carberry, co-founder and CEO of Explore Mars, a nonprofit organization that advocates for human exploration of the planet said the mission could reveal
tantalizing new details about Mars’ history and geology.