NASA’s Perseverance rover is about to guide itself to the surface of Mars in the most precise landing operation yet undertaken.
Every process must take place without error and precisely on time, in order for the landing to succeed.
The descent is scheduled to take place today on the 18th February 2021 at 3:55 pm American Eastern Standard Time.
Perseverance will be the fifth rover to land on the red planet. The spacecraft is on target to touch down in Jezero Crater. It’s mission will be to scientifically discover whether there were ever any lifeforms on the surface of Mars.
“Jezero Crater is the most challenging Martian terrain ever targeted for a landing”.Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
It’s landing day for Perseverance and all eyes are on the Red Planet.
The rover spent the last seven months flying the roughly 125-million-mile (202 million kilometers) distance to Mars on a quest to find signs of ancient life. Later today (Feb. 18), the mission will begin a daring “seven minutes of terror“-type descent, and if all goes well, its wheel touchdown will signal the beginning of the most powerful rover yet to roam the Martian surface.
Perseverance will broadcast information back in high-definition 4K, set aside promising rock samples for a sample-return mission and launch the first interplanetary helicopter — all the while photographing, laser-targeting and investigating targets in the ancient delta of Jezero Crater.