- PERSEVERANCE LANDS ON THE RED PLANET
Mars Perseverance, the rover launched by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on a mission to Mars has successfully landed on Mars on February18, 2021. The rover which was launched on July 30, 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, has a length of 3m, width of 2.7m, height of 2.2m and weighs 1,250kg. Its mission is to investigate if life existed on Mars, and also test new technology that will be beneficial to future robotic and human exploration of Mars.
Perseverance being designed by scientists
Perseverance Rover launched the same month as Hope Craft launched by the United States Emirates and China’s Tianwen-1. Of the three space missions, the US’s rover is the most innovative as it comes with the first made-for-Mars helicopter: Ingenuity, which will test flight on another planet, in an atmosphere that is thinner than the Earth’s.
Perseverance’s helicopter: Ingenuity
The journey from Earth took almost seven months and the rover touched down on the surface of Mars at 8:55m GMT, to the cheers and applause from the scientists monitoring its progress at NASA. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the rover will collect samples of rock and soil, encase them in tubes, and leave them on the planet’s surface to be returned to Earth at a future date. Perseverance will also study the Red Planet’s geology and test how astronauts on future Mars missions could produce oxygen from CO2 in the atmosphere.
Perseverance rover on Mars
A number of STEM women helped to make Perseverance’s landing very successful. These women are Systems Engineers, Geologists, Information Scientists, Planetary Protection Engineers, Robotics Technologists, Software Engineers ,among other STEM professions. Indeed, women can be anything they want to be – elegant in stilettos and confident in steel toes.
‘Yeah we did it!’ NASA scientists celebrate as Perseverance lands successfully on Mars