• Fri. Apr 16th, 2021

Mars Rover Perseverance Takes First Drive on Surface of Red Planet

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, quick drive on the floor of the purple planet, two weeks after the robotic science lab’s picture-perfect landing on the ground of an enormous crater, mission managers mentioned on Friday.

The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a complete of 6.5 meters (21.three ft) on its odometer on Thursday throughout a half-hour take a look at spin inside Jezero Crater, web site of an historical, long-vanished lake mattress and river delta on Mars.

Taking instructions from mission managers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) close to Los Angeles, the rover rolled four meters (13.1 ft) ahead, turned about 150 levels to its left after which drove backward one other 2.5 meters (8.2 ft).



“It went incredibly well,” Anais Zarifian, a JPL mobility take a look at engineer for Perseverance, mentioned throughout a teleconference briefing with reporters, calling it a “huge milestone” for the mission.

NASA displayed a photograph taken by the rover displaying the wheel tread marks left within the reddish, sandy Martian soil after its first drive.

Another vivid picture of the encompassing panorama exhibits a rugged, ruddy terrain suffering from giant, darkish boulders within the foreground and a tall outcropping of rocky, layered deposits within the distance – marking the sting of the river delta.

Some further, short-distance take a look at driving is deliberate for Friday. Perseverance is able to averaging 200 meters of driving per day.

But JPL engineers nonetheless have further gear checks to run on the rover’s many devices earlier than they are going to be able to ship the robotic on a extra formidable journey as a part of its main mission to seek for traces of fossilized microbial life.

So far, Perseverance and its {hardware}, together with its major robotic arm, seem like working flawlessly, mentioned Robert Hogg, deputy mission supervisor. The workforce has but to conduct post-landing exams of the rover’s refined system to drill and acquire rock samples for return to Earth through future Mars missions.

NASA introduced it has named the location of Perseverance’s February 18 landing because the “Octavia E. Butler Landing,” in honor of the award-winning American science-fiction author. Butler, a local of Pasadena, California, died in 2006 at age 58.


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