The Perseverance Rover has successfully landed on Mars’ Jezero Crater on Thursday. It will stay on the ‘red planet’ for the next two years to assist exploration activities.
Perseverance is the most technologically-advanced robot to date built by NASA. It is approximately 10 feet long and 9 feet wide. It weighs about 2,260 pounds and is almost seven feet tall. It uses a Plutonium generator and is nuclear-powered. It was manufactured in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California costing a whopping $2.7 billion.
The administrator of NASA Steve Jurczyk exclaimed that this is one of the most pivotal moments for the organization. He unveiled the first pictures received from Perseverance.
‘Perseverance’ is equipped with a high-definition camera that can capture panoramic colors and 3D images and videos of the Martian surface. Scientists can use the camera to magnify distant targets. There are sensors available to monitor the weather conditions on the planet’s surface. An x-ray machine is also attached to the robot, enabling it to measure the density of rocks and analyze features and composition.
The rover was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Station on 30 July 2020. It took more than six months to land on the red planet covering a distance of 293 million miles.
The robot is being operated solely by pre-programmed controls specially catered in its onboard computer, because of a signal delay of 11 minutes between Mars and Earth.
The ‘Perseverance’ robot also carries an ingenuity helicopter. If it makes a flight on Mars then that will be the first powered, controlled flight in history.
Jezero crater is a wide basin of about 28 miles on the northern hemisphere of Mars. The crater is almost the size of Lake Tahoe. The team operating the Perseverance believes that in this crater water used to flow and if this ancient delta is discovered, this may lead to newer studies regarding the preserved organic molecules on the red planet.