PERSEVERANCE ROVER MISSION
Why in News?
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has launched “Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission” with United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket to the Planet Mars.
About Perseverance Rover
The Perseverance rover’s mission will be to search for signs of past microbial life in Mars. NASA launched Mars rover Perseverance to look for signs of ancient life. It will also collect samples of Martian rocks and dust, according to the release. The rover will also be tasked with studying the red planet’s geology and climate.
The Perseverance rover weighs less than 2,300 pounds and is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Atlas V rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center with NASA’s Perseverance rover on July 30, 2020, is on its way to Mars.
NASA’s previous Mars rovers includes the Sojourner (1997), Spirit and Opportunity (2004) and Curiosity (exploring Mars since 2012).
Features of Perseverance Rover
- 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.
- Perseverance will carry a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment, which for the first time will manufacture molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere.
- Perseverance will carry Ingenuity, the first ever helicopter to fly on Mars. This is the first time NASA will fly a helicopter on another planet or satellite.
- Perseverance is the planned first step to bring back rock samples from Mars for analysis in sophisticated laboratories on Earth, with the goal of looking for biosignatures or signatures of present or past life. Perseverance will collect samples and a second rover mission will fly within a decade to help transport the rock samples back to Earth.