NASA's Perseverance rover successfully lands on the surface of Mars | FULL
CA, 19 Feb 2021
NASA's rover, Perseverance, successfully landed on the surface of Mars on Thursday after seven months of travel through space. Perseverance landed in the Jezero Crater on the Red Planet and sent back its first image of Mars shortly after landing.
Ground controllers at the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, cheered and exchanged fist bumps and high-fives in triumph — and relief — on receiving confirmation that the six-wheeled Perseverance had touched down on the Red Planet.
It took a tension-filled 11 1/2 minutes for the signal to reach Earth.
“Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars,” flight controller Swati Mohan announced.
The biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover ever built — a car-size vehicle bristling with cameras, microphones, drills and lasers, is a long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth to be analyzed for evidence of ancient life.
The landing marks the third visit to Mars in just over a week. Two spacecraft from the United Arab Emirates and China swung into orbit around Mars on successive days last week.
All three missions were taking advantage of the close alignment of Earth and Mars, travelling some 300 million miles in nearly seven months.
Perseverance, the biggest, most advanced rover ever sent by NASA, became the ninth spacecraft to successfully land on Mars, every one of them from the U.S.
Credit: NASA TV
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