On February 18, 2021, the Perseverance spacecraft accelerated to 20,000 km / h to “penetrate” the Martian atmosphere and reach its planned destination, after a seven-month journey.
On Earth, what has been dubbed “7 Minutes of Terror” occurred—due to the delays that exist for communications traversing the distance between the two planets—as the rover performed a series of risky maneuvers, out of sight and out of sight • Possible intervention by NASA engineers.
Therefore, the arrival of the first video images sent by Perseverance was greeted with great affection by the team: Rover I succeeded in making love in the intended place. Thus began the Perseverance Mission to Mars, whose main objective is to search for signs of ancestors of life.
Perseverance can be seen as the “principal investigator” of the Mars 2020 mission, but there’s another major hero: ingenuity, a small helicopter the rover carried with it that surprised its resilience in the face of adverse conditions.
The first test was to fly over the surface of Mars at a height of three meters for 30 seconds, and this resulted in successful.
Watch the video that made the history of the first spacecraft that took off on Mars
However, the helicopter is 1.8 kg Already repeat this feat several times, successfully, and more and more flight time was added over the land of Mars. On December 5th, when she completed her 17th flight, she passed the 30-minute mark of cumulative time and more than 3,500 meters in distance traveled. It also climbed to a height of 12 meters and walked at a speed of five meters per second.
NASA says that the importance of the Ingenuity flight is to obtain accurate and valuable data, so that it can tune and create improved versions of Mars helicopters, which will help scientists to explore the Red Planet in the future.
A Glimpse of the 355 Days of Mars
A year later, Perseverance passed, as planned, the Jezero Crater, a basin 45 kilometers wide located in the northern hemisphere of Mars. About 3.5 billion years ago, a river flowed into a body of water the size of Lake Tahoe, depositing a fan-shaped sediment known as a delta.
The rover’s science team believes ancient river deltas and lake sediments may have collected and preserved organic particles and other potential signs of microbial life, which is why this was the preferred area for rock sample collection.
Discover the main “sights” of Jezero Crater visited by perseverance
Rock sample collection is going well and is recommended and has already led to surprising discoveries, such as the high probability that the topography of Mars was caused by lava, which translates into implications for understanding critical events in the history of Crater and their accurate dating. , as well as the rest of the planet.
Researchers associated with the mission were also able to conclude that the rocks in the crater had interacted with water multiple times over different eras and that some even contained organic molecules.
The latest great news is the discovery of organic compounds by the SHERLOC instrument – Surveying Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals. This finding is not a confirmation of the existence of life on Jezero and the left biomarkers, as organic compounds can be created by both biological and non-biological mechanisms.
Such a conclusion can only be drawn when samples are returned to Earth and analyzed with instruments more advanced than those that can be flown to Mars, but for the time being researchers are satisfied with the sure possibility that instruments built into persistence have detected its presence. of the organic compounds preserved in the samples.
In the coming months, we will continue to wait for more scientific discoveries, especially because there is still practically half the task to be completed, which should last at least one Martian year – the equivalent of 687 days on Earth, but everyone expects that time to pass , similar to what happened with other missions on Mars, such as the rover Curiosity offor example, which already has more than 3,000 days of “travel” on the Red Planet and is still “for the curves”.
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