NASA Sends Perseverance Rover to Mars in Search for Life

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NASA has launched its Mars Perseverance Rover on July 30 at 17:20 IST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida to search for signs in the Red Planet.

NASA’s Perseverance rover liftoff took place at 7:50 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. NASA arranged for a live broadcast of the launch for the enthusiasts.

The launch window is for two hours, which has already been opened at 7:50 a.m. EDT. NASA’s Launch Services Program, (LSP) based at Kennedy, has been managing the launch. The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has been lifted off aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida.

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Perseverance will reach Mars on 18 February 2021 touching the surface of Jezero Crater. After landing, Perseverance will release a NASA’s Mars Helicopter named ‘Ingenuity’ from its underside. 

Weighing less than four pounds, this twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter with weight less than four pounds is the first interplanetary helicopter. MiMi Aung, Ingenuity’s lead engineer, has said, “We as human beings have never flown a rotorcraft, a helicopter, anywhere outside of Earth’s atmosphere, so it’s really a Wright Brothers moment on another planet”.

In 2026, we’re going to launch a mission from Earth to Mars to go pick up those samples and bring them back to Earth”. It will also test new technologies to benefit future exploration of Mars. “For the first time in history, we’re doing a Mars sample return mission, – Jim Bridenstine

The rover will collect and store rock and soil samples to be returned to Earth by future Mars sample return missions.

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