Perseverance Rover Makes Successful Mars Landing

NASA’s Perseverance rover has landed on Mars in its historic mission to the red planet. It sent back its first images after landing at about 1 p.m. PST, according to BoingBoing.

“This landing is one of those pivotal moments for NASA, the United States, and space exploration globally — when we know we are on the cusp of discovery and sharpening our pencils, so to speak, to rewrite the textbooks,” acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said. “The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission embodies our nation’s spirit of persevering even in the most challenging of situations, inspiring, and advancing science and exploration. The mission itself personifies the human ideal of persevering toward the future and will help us prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s.”

The rover, which is the most sophisticated one built by NASA yet, left more than six months ago for the voyage, according to CNN. As part of the mission, there will be an experiment to fly a helicopter, named Ingenuity, on another planet for the first time in history.

The $2.7 billion rover will now spend the next few years collecting samples on the surface of Mars and explore the remains of an ancient lake, called Jezero Crater, that dates back 3.9 billion years.

The rover will attempt to gather evidence of prehistoric signs of life and analyze Martian rocks, according to The Verge. Perseverance marks the ninth landing on Mars and NASA’s fifth rover.