Perseverance finished testing the instruments, and began to fulfill its main task – looking for signs of life on Mars. This was reported on the NASA website.
The American Space Agency (NASA) has announced that the Perseverance rover is fully prepared to search for traces of bacterial life on the Red Planet. Previously, the rover was delivered to the Red Planet along with an Ingenuity helicopter as part of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s research mission on February 18, 2021. After seven months of flight, the rover landed in Jezero Crater.
Its main working element is a two-meter robotic arm, on which scientific instruments are placed. The main one is the PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) lithochemical X-ray analyzer. Using X-rays and ultraviolet light, he will study the composition of rocks. A nearby camera will help the device. Its task is to take pictures of samples with sufficient magnification to detect signs of past microbial life in them.
Despite the fact that the rover has significant autonomous capabilities, such as moving around the Martian landscape, hundreds of Earth scientists are still involved in analyzing the results and planning further research.
A key goal of the Perseverance mission on Mars is astrobiology, namely the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate to pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. Perseverance will be the first mission to collect and store Martian rocks and regolith.