The third and final mission to the red planet of the month lifted off on Thursday 30th July at 17:20 IST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. After covering a huge distance of 300 million miles the Mars Perseverance Rover is expected to land on 18th February 2021. The main objective of the Mars Perseverance Rover is to search for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for a possible return to Earth.
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Mars Perseverance Rover:
The Rover is a car-size 2200 – pound wheeled robot which is very similar in design to NASA’s previous Mars rover, Curiosity, which landed in 2012. The Rover’s destination is a crater Jezero. Jezero was once a lake in the northern hemisphere of Mars. Scientists believe that it is a promising location where vital signs of ancient Martian life could be preserved if life ever existed on Mars. Perseverance is carrying several high lens cameras, which will capture several views as the spacecraft zooms through the atmosphere en route to landing and two microphones, which will be the first to record sounds on another planet. However, the interesting fact to note is that the Rover is carrying a helicopter too. Named “Ingenuity” the four-pound helicopter is an experiment carried by NASA and if it works it will be the first powered flight on another planet.
This launch is followed by the July’s earlier launches by the UAE and China on 20th and 23rd July respectively. Though the Rover Perseverance is last to arrive, all three of them is expected to arrive at Mars about the same time in February.
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