NASA’s Perseverance Rover Lands on Mars

Mikaeel Zohair, Staff Writer

On February 18th, NASA’s Perseverance Rover landed on Mars as the first ever rover-helicopter combo. The United States joined other countries like India and Saudi Arabia in its pursuit of new knowledge of Mars and the solar system. The Perseverance Rover also provided the first ever audio recording of sounds from Mars.

Up until last week, no helicopters had ever been flown on the surface of another planet. NASA has previously utilized fly-bys, orbiters and landers, but rovers are able to collect data from the surface of other planets and bring the data back to Earth.

NASA officials have recently revealed that the seemingly random sequence of color patterns within the rover’s parachute contained a hidden message written in binary computer code. The red and white pattern spelled out “Dare Mighty Things”, which is the Perseverance team’s motto. Also hidden on the rover was a small family portrait of past Mars rovers, including Perseverance itself and the Ingenuity helicopter which accompanied Perseverance to Mars.

Photos of Mars have been released by NASA along with the mission’s first panorama of the Perseverance rover’s landing location. A video detailing the rover’s landing on Mars has also been released and is now known as “the seven minutes of terror” while landing on Mars.

A key objective of the Perseverance team on Mars is astrobiology, which includes any signs of ancient microbial life. The rover aims to analyze the planet’s geology and climates, be the first mission ever to collect and return Martian sediment, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.