Perseverance: A new inhabitant of Mars

Perseverance is a rover built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It was launched on 30th July 2020 from CCAFS space launch complex 41. And it landed on Mars on February 18, 2021.

This rover has a weight of 1,025 kilograms (2,260 pounds) on Earth with a robotic arm. And the weight becomes 393 kg(866 pounds) on Mars. Perseverance is 3 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall rover and most sophisticated rover on the surface of Mars.

From Earth to Mars surface

The distance between Earth and Mars is 205 million kilometers. But the rover traveled 471 million kilometers to reach Mars. The journey from earth to mars is divided into different phases and each phase is difficult on its own.

First phase (Launch )

The launch of Perseverance took place from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air force on July 30, 2020, at 7:50 am EDT. A two-stage ULA Atlas V-541 launch vehicle was used for its launch. Summer was perfect for its launch because during this time Earth and Mars are very close to each other in the race around the Sun. And the second reason is that NASA’s orbiter was passing through the landing site during the time NASA scientists calculated the landing of the rover. This helped to establish communication with the rover during its landing.

Second phase (Interplanatary Cruise )

The phase Perseverance travelled from the Earth to Mars is called Cruise phase. During cruise, the Perseverance was protected inside aeroshell.

Third Phase (Entry, descent and landing)

The entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase begins when the spacecraft reached the top of the atmosphere of Mars. Its speed at that time was about 19,500 KPH. This phase ended even a minute later. These & minutes were very crucial and full of terror. The communication delay and its landing site were the challenges. And therefore Perseverance had to land by itself.

The speed with which it was traveling had to be reduced. And therefore engineers had used parachute.

Technologies/ Instruments deployed on Perseverance

The instruments deployed on rover are Mastcam-Z, Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer

What purpose will it fulfill

Perseverance is searching for signs of ancient life. As previous NASA mission has discovered that Mars once had running water. If this is so, then it might also had a life at some point of time. Therefore, scientists had targeted the site where they can do research and find out whether there was life or not. And for this purpose, it is equipped with cutting-edge technologies and instruments. Two of them, SHERLOC which will detect organic matter and minerals, and PIXL which will map the chemical composition of the rocks and sediments.

Finally, the rover had landed successfully. And for this NASA has invested 2.4 million dollars to build and launch Perseverance 2020.

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