Far Above the World: A New Rover on Mars


On July 30, 2020, amid pandemic chaos, NASA successfully launched the rover they had been working on for years. The launch went according to plan, but there was no way to know for sure what would happen to it on its path. All there was left to do was wait and monitor. Then, on February 18, 2021, Perseverance landed on Mars. Perseverance, named by a middle schooler in a national vote, will bring new knowledge of the Red Planet’s history, geography, and current conditions to Earth. Getting to this point took decades of scientific ingenuity and, of course, perseverance.


According to their website, The exploration of Mars has been a long-time goal of NASA, especially after Curiosity’s discovery that there was once water on Mars. Water is very conducive to life, and its discovery brought hope for Martian life even closer. Perseverance will continue this exploration and make further strides in the knowledge obtained by NASA’s previous rovers.


The rover is equipped with climate measuring, oxygen-producing, rock analyzing, underground viewing, and chemical detecting devices. These will all help NASA scientists continue their pursuit for signs of life on Mars. Additionally, Perseverance has not one, not two, but nineteen cameras and recording devices. These will be used to take raw images, videos, and sound clips which can be seen on NASA’s website. But the jewel of the ship, the magnum opus, is Ingenuity. 


Ingenuity is an experimental helicopter that was attached to the Perseverance rover when it landed on Mars. It is set to perform a series of tests on the planet, allowing scientists back on Earth to see what parts of their design work and which do not. If everything goes according to plan, it will be the first powered flight on Mars, a huge success for NASA.


Perseverance’s landing on Mars is historical. Using its technologies, NASA will gain a more complex understanding of the planet, bringing us closer to putting a human on Mars. It is also a great feat for robotics and engineering. It is one small “step” by rovers and one giant leap for mankind.


Source: NASA, Mars 2020