Space

The Long-Awaited Perseverance Landing on Mars is no longer a dream for the United States but a Reality

Summary

On Feb 18, a rover dabbed Perseverance launched by NASA a while back landed on Mars successfully. The good news comes after almost seven years of uncertainty and anxiety. It took the rover nearly seven months to travel from Earth […]

On Feb 18, a rover dabbed Perseverance launched by NASA a while back landed on Mars successfully. The good news comes after almost seven years of uncertainty and anxiety. It took the rover nearly seven months to travel from Earth to Mars. As much as it was a huge milestone, its successful landing was just but the beginning of the real thing. After all, its mission is to explore Mars for a year.

At 3:55 p.m. Eastern, that’s when the lover landed on Mars, touching down at the Jezero Crater. To enter the Martian atmosphere successfully, one of the measures was encapsulating it. Therefore, it was inside a back shell and a heatshield. After entering the red planet atmosphere, it took seven minutes to land on its surface. From how it entered to the way it descended until its landing eventually, everything went as per the team’s expectations.

Steve Jurczyk, NASA’s acting administrator, was impressed and described the day using two strong words, amazing and incredible. He went ahead to say how he was proud of the team behind the scene, having pulled it out when the times were quite challenging. It was to land at a specific area, and just as planned, it landed within it at the southeast side around 1.7 kilometers from its center. That’s according to Allen Chen, the head of Perseverance entry, descent as well as landing. He said it during the mission’s post-landing briefing at JPL.

The landing zone was far from straight, characterized by rocky, hazardous terrain. Therefore, the rover had to avoid it at all cost, or else its landing could have turned out to be another story. Fortunately, it had a terrain relative navigation system which helped it avoid all that. Luck was definitely on its side since the area it landed on was quite rugged. It was just interesting that Perseverance found a flat parking area regardless of all the ruggedness.

The deputy project manager Jennifer Trosper also said that nothing looked out of order. He based the findings on the two images that Perseverance sent to Earth. It was equipped with hazard cameras on the front and rare sides. They show that the rover landed on a flat surface with only a slight tilt of only 1.2 degrees. The team expects to receive more photos, including those capturing its landing, in the next several days.

Another thing that will be happening in the next few days is opening up Perseverance which is exciting to Trosper and the rest of the team. The deployment of the mast, high-gain antenna, and other equipment will also commence soon.

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