it’s part of the story, our series Exploring the Red Planet.
this is happening. NASA’s Perseverance rover has begun its main science mission: searching for signs of ancient microbial life in Jezero Crater on Mars.
“Recently, the rover has been undergoing system testing, or commissioning, and is supporting months of flight tests of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter,” NASA said in a statement Wednesday.
Ingenuity Helicopter is working fine by itself and. Persistence is already going through an extensive warm-up phase where it , broke thousands of images and .
“We’re going through the commissioning phase of the rover as well as putting the landing site in our rearview mirrors and hitting the road,” NASA JPL Persistence Project Manager Jennifer Trosper said.
The rover is eyeing a section of the crater floor where it will look for samples of rock and soil eligible to pack in tubes and. It will need to navigate rocky ground and work around potentially dangerous sand dunes. Billions of years ago the crater floor was a lake.
This first science mission will end with the rover returning to its landing site. “At that time, Persistence would have traveled between 1.6 and 3.1 miles (2.5 and 5 kilometers) and up to eight of Persistence’s 43 sample tubes may have been filled with Mars rock and regolith (broken rock and dust),” NASA he said.
The data that Persistence collects should begin to tell the story of this fascinating region of Mars, giving us a glimpse into its early, wetter history and geological structure. Could it have been habitable for life at one time? NASA hopes to find out.
To celebrate the occasion, NASA also unveiled a 360-degree panorama of the location called the Van Zyl Overlook. This is where Perseverance saw the first flights of the Ingenuity helicopter.
The interactive panorama is created from 992 individual images taken in March and April with an audio soundtrack captured by the rover in February. Immersing yourself in a view of Mars is the perfect way to get excited for the thrill of the science of perseverance.
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