NASA rover – Perseverance is expected to land on Mars today at 3:55 pm (February 18th, 2021) extending our horizons. Amazing milestone to witness!
How does it look?
Some key aspects as we look forward to Perseverance
Sensing how high it is at all points of time, to the relative distance on the ground and activating the parachute to descend. Self capturing pictures, constantly keep comparing and adjusting to see whether it is landing on ground or cliff, and self-adjust to land normally. Real time intelligent decision making (Power of Artificial intelligence).
How big is it?
The size of a SUV and weighing around a tonne, Perseverance is the biggest, heaviest and fastest rover NASA has sent to Mars. With people around it, the picture below gives a good idea about the actual size of the rover.
What is Perseverance expected to do?
With a completely new suite of seven instruments on board, it could not only help answer one of the most fundamental questions about life in the universe, it could also change the face of space exploration for decades to come.
- Search for ancient life
- Perseverance is the first rover with tools that can specifically hunt for signs of microbial life that may have inhabited Mars when it was covered in lakes and oceans billions of years ago.
- Bring rocks from Mars back to Earth
- While every sample costs millions of dollars, it requires a lot of engineering and drilling to get a clean piece of best rock back to earth
- A drone flies on another planet for the first time
- Compared to the first extra terrestrial Wright brothers moment that goes down in history
- It will attempt to extract oxygen from the Mars atmosphere
- A small chemical plant called MOXIE on the rover will be used to split oxygen from Carbon dioxide which is available in plenty on Mars. Constantly doing this can pave way for humans to travel there, as there is a supply of oxygen!
- Testing spacesuit material if it can handle Mars
- Known to be a hot planet, testing spacesuits analyzing molecular signature of fabric, radiation effects on humans, spacesuits and fabric used to making them.
Watch the live telecast of perseverance landing on mars from NASA
10 million practice landings later…. it is expected to have a smooth landing today (fingers crossed).