As the Earth has begun the exploration to hunt for the possibilities for the early life in its red solar neighbor 'Mars', the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is the American Space Agency, has released the first high-quality video of 'Perseverance' rover's landing on the surface of Mars, which has become a remarkable and phenomenal descent towards exploration, setting an impressive milestone for the ambitious mission.
Perseverance rover is a six-wheeled vehicle that landed successfully on Mars last Thursday and the rover will be the earth's eye and feet on Mars towards looking for the evidence of the possibilities of life. The rover has landed in a deep crater near the planet Mars's equator called Jezero. It will now spend at least the next two years drilling into the local rocks and looking for evidence of past life. The achievement has drawn global significance which displayed how Earth is interested to explore its solar neighbor. Mars has been on the radar of the space agencies on Earth and they are keen on researching the soil and surfaces of the red planet and whether it carries the history of living beings.
One of the strongest factors and reasons why the rover was landed on Jezero is that Jezero is believed to have had a huge lake 3.5 billion years ago. The studies on Mars have shown that the Jezero crater was Jezero lake and there was atmosphere, warmth, and there was ample water. Where there is water, there is life, and with this conclusion, the space agencies believed that their neighbor could have had a life, and the 'Perseverance' rover is born as the result of exploring the possibilities of life on Mars.
Mars had lost its magnetic field and thus 99% of its atmosphere and nearly all of its water, transforming the planet into the frigid desert of what it is today. If there was an early life before the transformation, it could still be there today - in the form of fossilized remains and organic material in the ancient silt of the desiccated lake. This is the important reason why NASA had selected Jezero for its phenomenal and ambitious Mars exploration.
Locking the perfect target, NASA had designed a rover with the enhanced mechanisms and precise technologies to land on the neighbor and after years of works and involvements, the American Space Agency has now successfully landed the rover on its target- which means, we are two years away to know how the red planet looked billions of years ago. As the rover had a successful touchdown, it will take its time before beginning its explorations. Ground controllers on Earth will spend the next month loading and calibrating the software of the rover.
On Monday, NASA released the first high-quality video of the rover landing on Mars. In a three-minute video, it can be seen that a large orange and white parachute opens during the descent trajectory and when the rover gets near to the surface, the dust from the soil on the red planet kicks up and covers the rover before getting cleared. The video was so vivid and the landing is remarkable as the rover had displayed what it takes to land on our red solar neighbor, which is 202 million kilometers far from Earth.
According to PTI, Dave Gruel, the head of the entry and descent camera team of the rover, said, "It (the video) gives me goosebumps every time I see it, just amazing". The team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, had shared the video on Monday, four days after the landing of the Perseverance rover. "These videos and these images are the stuff of our dreams", said Al Chen, who was in charge of the landing team.
The rover will be spending the next two years exploring the dry river delta and drilling into rocks that may hold evidence of life 3 to 4 billion years ago. The core samples will be set aside for return to Earth in a decade. According to reports, NASA had added 25 cameras to the USD 3 billion mission, which the costliest mission ever sent to Mars. According to engineers, these images will help NASA prepare for astronaut flights to Mars in the decades ahead.
The rover will be tasked to look for chemical signatures and deposits of fossilized life and it will also drill into the rocks and macro structures on the red planet and transmitting the information back to Earth on what it had found. Mars is 202 million kilometers far from Earth, which means radio transmissions from the rover will take at least eleven minutes to reach us, the Earth. Whatever that we receive from the rover was actually recorded eleven minutes ago.
The Perseverance rover is part of the mission 'Mars 2020' and it was launched on July 30, 2020, and nearly after seven months of travel, the rover has got successfully landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. According to NASA's website, the main job of the rover is to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for a possible return to Earth.
On the other hand, it must be noted that the Perseverance rover won't be alone on Mars in the near future as it has been expected that China will also attempt to land its own rover on the red planet. The Chinese rover had gone into the orbit of Mars two weeks ago and it will soon say 'Hi' to Perseverance and begin the Chinese exploration. It's noteworthy to say that Earth is getting closer to witness the wonders of the red planet.