A year of perseverance | National Air and Space Museum

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It’s been a year since we all heard the words “confirmed landing” spoken by Swati Mohan, the Mars 2020 guidance and control operations manager, confirming that the Perseverance rover had successfully landed on Mars. The rover has embarked on an ambitious journey to search for signs of ancient microbial life, to further explore Mars’ past habitability. What was accomplished during these 365 days? Let’s take a look at some of the major milestones of the past year.

Landing at Jezero Crater

After years of studying more than 60 potential landing sites, scientists around the world have chosen Jezero Crater as the one to Perseverance. The site allows Perseverance to study and examine 3.6 billion year old rocks. On day one, the rover accomplished something that already set it apart: it landed “on the toughest terrain on Mars ever targeted.” The intense landing was only made possible by the new Range Trigger and Terrain-Relative Navigation technology, which the rover executed to perfection with a successful landing on February 18, 2021. The successful landing also provided us with video breathtaking view of a touching rover on Mars – a breathtaking sight. Perseverance only begins the search for past life in Jezero but has already provided key analysis of the terrain.

the Perseverance rover successfully landed on the surface of Mars on February 18, 2021. (NASA)

Teamwork is the source of a dream job

With a series of unprecedented achievements making headlines here on Earth, it’s no secret that Perseverance had a plus on his journey to Mars. Ingenuitythe small experimental helicopter that hitchhiked to the Red Planet exceeded expectations and continues to prove that teamwork on Mars is not only possible, but also beneficial in many ways. Perseverance and Ingenuity worked together to achieve the first-ever flight to another planet and Ingenuity supported Perseverance’s missions by researching potential routes for its exploration.

A ‘seflie’ caught by the Perseverance rover with the Ingenuity Mars helicopter in the background. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Martian photographer

Various cameras and imaging instruments that Perseverance porte has provided us with a year of truly amazing, never-before-seen photos of Mars. The rover has taken more than 100,000 images since coming to the surface. Since many of these images are transferred to us in high resolution, they are undoubtedly worthy of a lock screen or wallpaper. Not only has Perseverance provided us with detailed scientific images of the surface, he also took a “selfie”, photographed Martian sunsets and captured Ingenuity in flight.

An enhanced color image of Jezero crater taken by the onboard Mastcam-Z instrument Perseverance vagabond. (NASA)

On his 257th Martian day (sol), Perseverance taken this image at sunset on the red planet. (NASA)

go the distance

Since landing on the surface of the red planet, the rover has traveled almost three kilometers and covered the longest distance traveled by a vehicle circulating on Mars. Perseverance traveled just over 1,000 feet on February 14, 2022, do it on AutoNav, a self-contained on-board software that helps avoid obstacles such as rocks or potentially problematic areas for the rover.

Perseverance took this view from a hill called “Santa Cruz” on Mars. (NASA)

Sampling and analysis

Perseverance has already begun collecting, analyzing, and storing samples from the Martian surface. In total, the rover has collected six rock and atmosphere samples to date, some or all of which may be returned to Earth in the future. When collecting samples, the rover uses its Mastcam-Z camera system to capture images of the sample, send the image to Earth for further analysis and, once confirmed, store the sample in its tube. .

Composite image of the first borehole drilled by Perseverance rover on Mars. (NASA)

Perseverance and his faithful sidekick Ingenuity had an exciting first year on Mars. As they continue to explore the Red Planet and conduct more scientific research, we can’t wait to see what their experiments reveal.

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