NASA’s Perseverance rover is one of the newest additions to the growing list of robotic explorers sent to the Red Planet. Launched in July 2020, after seven months of travel, the Perseverance mission is to search for signs of past life on Mars, collect samples of Martian soil and study the planet’s geology.
Learn more about the mini-bot’s mission and what was seen in the Photograph seized it:
Getting to Mars
Since Perseverance arrived on Mars in February 2021, the NASA team has been working hard to test and prepare the robot for its primary mission. Recently, the team was able to take samples of Martian soil for the first time, a remarkable feat that took many years of planning and development to achieve.
In addition, Perseverance also sent a selfie to the ground, which caught the attention of the public. The photo shows the rover in a scene from Mars, with Mount Sharp in the background.
However, an odd detail caught attention: a small helicopter, called Ingenuity, can be seen attached to the bottom of the robot.
Creativity is another NASA project currently on Mars. It is an autonomous helicopter designed to explore the Martian atmosphere and provide aerial images of the planet.
Transported to Mars by Perseverance, the helicopter is now trapped under the robot as it moves across the surface of Mars.
While it may seem strange for NASA to send a helicopter to Mars, Project Ingenuity is an important proof of concept for autonomous aircraft on other planets. If the helicopter can successfully fly to Mars, it could open the door to future exploratory missions using autonomous aircraft.
The Perseverance mission on Mars is expected to last at least one Martian year, the equivalent of about two Earth years. During that time, the team at NASA It will continue to collect soil samples and study the geology of Mars, with the ultimate goal of answering the question that has intrigued humanity for decades: Is life, or has it ever existed, existed on Mars?
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