The US space agency NASA launched a robot from Earth to find out whether Mars supports life. The robot is a monotonous, six-wheeled rover and is expected to intercept the red planet in February next year. NASA launched it with an Atlas rocket from Florida.
It is also expected that rocks and soil samples will be collected after landing on Mars and sent back to Earth for further analysis and testing.
NASA’s persistence mission comes in third after EAE and China also launched its mission within 11 days.
The space agency has made the Mars mission its absolute priority amid this striking COVID-19 pandemic that is taking the world by storm. They have established specific work practices to ensure that endurance is met with the start date.
Jim Bridenstine, the agency’s administrator, was very, very excited and said he wasn’t going to lie. It was a challenge, very stressful, but the team did it. He added that they couldn’t be more proud of what the integrated team could achieve.
The persistence tests will target a more than 40 km wide, almost equatorial shell, known as the Jezero crater, which, according to satellite images, shows that there was a lake billion of years ago.
Scientists are optimistic that the rocks that have formed in this environment have a good chance of showing evidence if there is microbial activity on the planet.
The robot will spend about two Earth years, which is a Martian year, to investigate the possibility of life on the planet.
The broadcast rover differs significantly from other machines that NASA has ever sent to the planet Mars. The robot can instantly recognize life on the planet by analyzing current or petrified material that other previous machines did not.
Whatever the results the rover will receive will be treated as a series, and therefore NASA wants part of the content to be returned to Earth for further and deeper analysis that its sophisticated laboratories can perform.
To achieve this, the rover has to pack its most interesting rock discoveries into small tubes, which later require complex missions to retrieve the collected samples.
This also shows how the transmission stability looks different from other rovers that NASA has ever sent to the planet Mars. Although it looks the same as the others, especially the curiosity robot that NASA also sent to Mars Gale crater in 2012, the difference is that some leftover parts of the previous mission have been installed. Besides, some parts of the rover are either major or new upgrades.
While the endurance includes some microphones and cameras, some remarkable new pictures and sounds are expected.
Jim Bell, the lead investigator of the robot’s mast-mounted systems, said he hoped to capture some of the sounds when boarding and descending, as well as landing and driving around, and merging them with a video that he could record.
Even if NASA captures everything interesting with its rover, it can be difficult to justify the results by arguing that the earliest search for life on Earth was controversial.
Nelson Richards is a Seasoned Journalist with nearly 6 years of experience. While studying at Case Western Reserve University, Located at Cleveland. Nelson found a passion for finding and writing articles which are published in Well known Media Publications such as Tnt Publications and Ohio News Network. As a contributor to Chroniclex Nelson Covers National Topics.