Mars Rover Perseverance Takes First Drive on Floor of Purple Planet

Mars Rover Perseverance Takes First Drive on Floor of Purple Planet

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, quick drive on the floor of the crimson planet, two weeks after the robotic science lab’s picture-perfect landing on the ground of a large crater, mission managers mentioned on Friday.

The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a complete of 6.5 metres (21.3 toes) on its odometer on Thursday throughout a half-hour take a look at spin inside Jezero Crater, website of an historic, long-vanished lake mattress and river delta on Mars.

Taking instructions from mission managers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) close to Los Angeles, the rover rolled 4 metres (13.1 toes) ahead, turned about 150 levels to its left after which drove backward one other 2.5 metres (8.2 toes).



“It went extremely nicely,” Anais Zarifian, a JPL mobility take a look at engineer for Perseverance, mentioned throughout a teleconference briefing with reporters, calling it a “large milestone” for the mission.

NASA displayed a photograph taken by the rover exhibiting the wheel tread marks left within the reddish, sandy Martian soil after its first drive.

One other vivid picture of the encircling panorama exhibits a rugged, ruddy terrain plagued by massive, darkish boulders within the foreground and a tall outcropping of rocky, layered deposits within the distance – marking the sting of the river delta.

Some extra, short-distance take a look at driving is deliberate for Friday. Perseverance is able to averaging 200 meters of driving per day.

However JPL engineers nonetheless have extra tools checks to run on the rover’s many devices earlier than they are going to be able to ship the robotic on a extra formidable journey as a part of its major mission to seek for traces of fossilised microbial life.

Up to now, Perseverance and its {hardware}, together with its fundamental robotic arm, seem like working flawlessly, mentioned Robert Hogg, deputy mission supervisor. The staff has but to conduct post-landing checks of the rover’s refined system to drill and gather rock samples for return to Earth by way of future Mars missions.

NASA introduced it has named the positioning of Perseverance’s February 18 landing because the “Octavia E. Butler Touchdown,” in honor of the award-winning American science-fiction author. Butler, a local of Pasadena, California, died in 2006 at age 58.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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