The Perseverance robot lands on Mars after seven months of travel, a success for NASA

02.19.2021 at 01:12 a.m. • Updated 02.19.2021 at 01:19 a.m. By La Rédaction, Reuters and AFP In the control room of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California, the teams present exploded with joy at the time of confirmation. NASA NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on the Red Planet after a seven-month trek. Teams from the US space agency will spend the next few days checking that the vehicle and its many advanced equipment have not been damaged and are working properly. “Landing confirmed!” NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars after seven months of travel, the US space agency announced Thursday (February 18th). A resounding success for NASA which marks the beginning of a mission lasting several years. In the control room of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California, the teams present exploded with joy at the time of confirmation. Jezero Crater, which scientists believe contained a lake 3.5 billion years ago, was the most perilous landing site NASA ever attempted. Perseverance, which landed there as planned, will be tasked with collecting evidence of ancient life on Mars there. NASA immediately released an image taken by the rover there. ” Hi world. My first sight of the house that will be mine forever, ”tweeted the rover’s official account to accompany the extraordinary black and white image, on which we can see the shadow of the vehicle projected on the ground. NASA teams will spend the next few days checking that the rover and its many advanced equipment have not been damaged and are working properly. Bonjour Monde. My first look at my forever home. #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/dkM9jE9I6X – NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 18, 2021 US President Joe Biden praised the “historic” landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars, he said is proof of the “power of science And “American ingenuity.” 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. pic.twitter.com/NzSxW6nw4k – President Biden (@POTUS) February 18, 2021 Samples recovered in 2030 The most critical phase of the landing lasted seven minutes, “seven minutes of terror,” according to the space agency. After entering at 20,000 km / h, friction with the air raised the temperature of the vessel to 1,300 ° C. The rover was protected by a heat shield, which was only released after opening a huge supersonic parachute. Eight retro-rockets finished slowing it down before it deploys its six wheels, suspended along cables until it hits the ground. Larger and more sophisticated than its predecessors, Perseverance, whose two-year mission is valued at 2.7 billion dollars (2.23 billion euros), is able to take rock samples that will be analyzed to distinguish between , perhaps, microscopic traces of ancient organisms. The tubes containing the samples will be carefully kept on Mars until a later mission is able to come back for them, in the 2030s. The rover, launched in July by the Atlas 5 rocket, is equipped with a weather station , 19 cameras and two microphones, equipment that will allow, according to NASA, to obtain rich images. It is equipped with a “Supercam”, a Franco-American instrument developed in particular by CNES and CNRS. “Are we alone? Scientists estimate that if life ever flourished on Mars, it would have happened three to four billion years ago, when water was still flowing over the Red Planet. They hope to answer one of the central questions of theology, philosophy and space exploration. “Are we alone in this sort of vast cosmic desert, just flying through space, or is life much more common?” Does it only emerge when and where conditions are ripe? Asked Kenneth Williford, assistant scientist of the project. “Big, fundamental questions, and we don’t yet know the answers. So we’re really on the verge of potentially being able to answer these huge questions. Perseverance is only the fifth rover to set foot on Martian soil. Since the first, in 1997, they have all been Americans, and one of them, Curiosity, is still active elsewhere on the Red Planet. Perseverance thus joins another American rover on Mars, Curiosity, which has posted 24.5 km on the odometer since the start of its explorations in 2012. As shown in this Statista infographic, based on data from NASA, the record holder of distance traveled on another planet remains the Opportunity rover, which completed just over a marathon (45 km) during its extended 14-year stay on Mars. Originally designed to last a hundred days, the Opportunity mission finally ended in 2018 when the robot could not be reactivated after a sandstorm. Statista Illustration of the renewed international interest in the conquest of space, the Chinese mission Tianwen placed in orbit around the red planet successfully a few days ago and another robot, Emirati this one, could soon also land on Martian soil. The landing of the unmanned rover is planned by Chinese engineers for the month of May or June 2021.