Nasa’s Perseverance Will Start Its Journey Next Week

Pablo Tucker
July 29, 2020

Perseverance will be programmed to land in Jezero Crater, where there was once a river delta that flowed into a lake, The Washington Post reports.

Prof Sanjeev Gupta said: "This is crucial to understand what the Martian climate was like early in Mars' history and whether it was habitable for life".

'This information will be used to help us define the best spots to collect rock samples for future return to Earth. "You really have to bring samples back to the lab". It will also be looking for possible signs of ancient Mars life. The samples will shed light on Mars' history and whether it has ever supported microbial lifeforms.

Meanwhile, Professor Caroline Smith, from the Natural History Museum, will be studying the mineralogy and geochemistry of the different rocks found in Jezero Crater.

NASA is targeting 7.50 a.m. EDT on July 30 for the launch of the rover on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This "fetch rover" will travel across the surface picking up the sample canisters left behind by Perseverance.

If there was life on Mars, then that opens up the whole possibility for planets and other solar systems.

What are the best rock samples to collect?

This is not the only objective of the Perseverance vehicle that will send it home, but the vehicle that will collect rock pieces from the surface of Mars will take this old piece of stone as a gift.

Later this week (July 30), Nasa's Perseverance rover will begin its journey through space to the surface of Mars, aiming to answer the age-old question of whether the planet has ever supported life.

As for the UK's Mars efforts, in two years' time, the UK-built Rosalind Franklin rover should blast into space some time between August and October 2022 from southern Kazakhstan.

The rover also carries the Ingenuity Mars helicopter, which will fly short distances and marks the first attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet.

If the test of the helicopter is successful, it could lead to more flying probes on other planets.

Perseverance will also trial technologies to help astronauts make future expeditions to Mars. If not, the mission will have to wait 26 months until the Earth and Mars are aligned again as they are supposed to be for this mission.

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