NASA has moved on to the main part of the mission to Mars. Their Perseverence device will collect material at the bottom of the crater to see if there was microbial life on the planet.
NASA’s Perseverance rover has embarked on a major scientific mission: looking for signs of ancient microbial life in the Jezero crater on Mars. “Until recently, the rover passed system tests, commissioning, and supported flight tests of the Ingenuity rover,” NASA said.
At the same time, scientists noted that the Ingenuity helicopter copes with flights on its own – the device has already made seven takeoffs and landings. Perseverance has already gone through an extensive training phase, during which he tested many of his scientific instruments, took thousands of pictures and recorded sound on Mars.
“We are leaving the stage of putting the rover into operation and going to implement the further mission,” said Jennifer Trosper, Project Manager for Perseverance.
The rover will work at the bottom of the crater, where it will search for rock and soil samples to pack in tubes and place them in a cache for future missions to retrieve them. The rover will traverse rocky ground and potentially hazardous sand dunes. This crater was the bottom of a lake billions of years ago.
The scientific mission will end with the return of the rover to the landing site. “By this time, Perseverance will travel 2.5-5 km and collect 43 tubes of materials – Martian rock and regalite,” NASA said.