Almost a decade of development and waiting has finally led to the moment the world has been waiting for. NASA’s Mars 2020 mission was launched onto its journey to Mars back in July of 2020 and teams have monitored its safety all the way there. Now the rover and teams of researchers back on earth get to start looking for signs of life on Mars.
At about 3:50 PM Est, NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter began to enter the Martian atmosphere. This 7-minute journey filled with tasks that needed to be conducted perfectly to ensure a safe landing on the Red Planet’s surface.
Of course, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s expertise in landing spacecraft on other planets prevailed and at 3:56 PM Est Perseverance safely touched down on the surface of Mars. Starting its 2-year mission of exploring Jezero Crater for signs of ancient life.
Praises and congratulations came in from around the space industry, from leaders of the different parts of NASA to SpaceX and ULA.
“Congratulations to NASA and everyone whose hard work made Perseverance’s historic landing possible. Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility.”
President Joe Biden, President of the United States
Teams will now begin receiving data from the rover that will determine how entry went and where exactly it is in the crater. Over the coming days, the rover will be checked to make sure all its systems are healthy and begin getting the rover ready to start exploring Jezero.