NASA launches Mars rover to seek signs of ancient life

NASA's next-generation Mars rover Perseverance launches this morning

NASA's next-generation Mars rover Perseverance launches this morning

"I wish the mission every success".

"Jezero Crater is the flawless place to search for signs of ancient life, said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington".

"There's a reason we call the robot Perseverance".

"Mars preserves on the surface of some incredibly complex and diverse geology", said Lori Glaze, Nasa Planetary Science Division director. It's never been easy. The seven instruments on board the orbiter comprise two cameras, the Mars orbiting subsurface scanning radar, the Mars mineralogy spectrometer, the Mars magnetometer, the Mars ion and neutral particle analyzer, and the energy particle analyzer. from Mars.

There were, however, a couple of issues that emerged shortly after launch, with one fixed and the other under control.

The Mars 2020 spacecraft separated from the rocket's Centaur upper stage 57 minutes after liftoff and five minutes after a second burn of the Centaur that placed the spacecraft on a trajectory toward Mars.

The launch went off on time at 7:50 a.m. despite a 4.2-magnitude quake 20 minutes before liftoff that shook Southern California, the site of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is overseeing the rover mission.

Carrying seven different scientific instruments, Perseverance is the largest and heaviest robotic Mars rover NASA has built and is expected to land February 18, 2021, according to the agency. It is carrying 25 cameras and a pair of microphones that will enable Earthlings to vicariously tag along.

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In this photo provided by NASA, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launches at Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Aboard Perseverance is a 1.8-kilogram autonomous helicopter named Ingenuity that is due to test powered flight on Mars for the first time. That includes equipment for extracting oxygen from Mars' thin carbon-dioxide atmosphere.

Paris said Mastcam-Z will also allow researchers to see fine details on closer objects, plan paths across terrain and assist the "cache cam", which is is the part of the rover that will collect and hold the samples, located within the sample cacher with another angle from which researchers can supervise the collection process. "And once we have those samples, we'll have them forever", so they can be analyzed with tools that might not exist yet. All temperatures are now nominal and the spacecraft is out of Earth's shadow.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and will manage operations of the Mars Perseverance rover.

In a spirit of bringing the public along, the Perseverance rover carries an anodized plate with the words "Explore as one" in Morse code and three silicon chips with the names of approximately 10.9 million people who signed up to ride along on Perseverance's journey to Mars.

Is/ Was there life in Mars?

With the successful launch and release, the Mars 2020 spacecraft, which consists of the Perseverance rover (with attached Ingenuity helicopter), the cruise stage, which is used to contain and protect the components during their flight to the red planet, and the Entry, Descent, and Landing System, which is used to safely land the payload on the Martian surface via an Aeroshell, parachute descent vehicle, and sky crane, has begun its almost 7 month journey to Mars.

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