NASA’s newest Mars rover set to land on the planet Thursday
NASA’s livestream of the landing can be seen below:
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Thursday, February 18th, NASA will land the first rover on Mars in nearly a decade.
Perseverance will search for signs of life, collect the first samples, that will be returned by a future mission and pave the way for human explorers.
Aaron Yazzie, NASA mechanical engineer, joined KUSI’s Lauren Phinney on Good Morning San Diego to explain why this event is so special.
NASA’s complete press release detailing the landing is below:
After six months, more than 300 million miles and seven precarious minutes…
On February 18, NASA begins an epic and unparalleled exploration of Mars with the landing of its newest rover. As the first rover to land on the red planet since 2012, the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover is the agency’s most ambitious rover yet. The SUV-sized rover will explore Mars in search of signs of ancient life, collect samples of Martian rocks and sediment for future return to Earth, study the planet’s geology and climate, and pave the way for human exploration beyond the Moon. Throughout all of this, it will also collect the first sounds from the Red Planet, allowing us to hear what Mars sounds like!
Perseverance is landing in the most challenging Martian terrain ever targeted: an area known as Jezero Crater. Scientists want to explore and investigate Jezero Crater because they believe it was once filled with flowing water, and perhaps had the right environment that could have supported ancient microbial life. But Jezero is also a dangerous area to land in because it has steep cliffs, sand dunes, and boulder fields.