After the success of the Curiosity rover (which is still on Mars, though it has stopped singing “Happy birthday” to itself), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is ready to send another to the red planet.
The space agency announced on Instagram that they will soon launch the Perseverance rover to Mars.
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According to NASA: “Get excited – we’re going to Mars! The #CountdownToMars is officially 3 days out, and we’re gearing up to send our Perseverance rover off on her seven-month journey to the Red Planet.”
The liftoff is targeted for July 30 at 7:50 AM, and is expected to land at the Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021. It will be there for at least one Mars year (about 687 Earth days).
NASA adds that Perseverance is designed to “better understand the geology of Mars, seek signs of ancient life, collect and store a set of rock and soil samples, and demonstrate technology for future robotic and human exploration.”
This rover is particularly special because it has more cameras than previous missions, and has two microphones. This means that we will get to hear Mars for the first time.
Perseverance will be accompanied by the helicopter Ingenuinity.
This is the first attempt at powered flight on another world.
To make it more fun, NASA is introducing a virtual #CountdownToMars so everyone can stay updated on the mission.
By registering, you can watch the launch online and get updates on interaction opportunities. Register here.
The agency also has NASA Social events for an opportunity to see NASA facilities, interview NASA experts, and meet fellow space enthusiasts. This will be held on a public Facebook group. See the group here.
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