NASA launches Mars rover Perseverance
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Science and Technology; Space related missions
- NASA launched Mars rover Perseverance to look for signs of ancient life.
- Atlas V rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center with NASA’s Perseverance rover on its way to Mars, on July 30, 2020.
- This is the world’s third and final Mars launch of the summer (UAE’s Hope Probe and China’s Tianwen-1)
- Perseverance will aim for treacherous unexplored territory: Jezero Crater, riddled with boulders, cliffs, dunes and possibly rocks bearing signs of microbes from what was once a lake more than 3 billion years ago.
- Perseverance will also release a mini helicopter that will attempt the first powered flight on another planet, and test out other technology to prepare the way for future astronauts.
Do you know?
- U.S. is the only country to safely put a spacecraft on Mars
- It is seeking its ninth successful landing on the planet
- The opportunity to fly between Earth and Mars comes around only once every 26 months when the planets are on the same side of the sun and about as close as they can get.
- Two other NASA landers are also operating on Mars — 2018’s InSight and 2012’s Curiosity rover.
- Six other spacecraft are exploring the planet from orbit: three from the U.S., two from Europe and one from India.