NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars

NASA rover lands on Mars with the goal of bringing back rocks that could answer whether life ever existed on the red planet.

Tags: Mars NASA
Arutz Sheva Staff ,


A NASA rover landed on Mars on Thursday in a quest to bring back rocks that could answer whether life ever existed on the red planet, The Associated Press reports.

The space agency said the six-wheeled Perseverance hurtled through the thin, orange atmosphere and settled onto the surface in the mission’s riskiest maneuver yet, as Mars has long been a deathtrap for incoming spacecraft.

Perseverance will collect geological samples that will be brought back to Earth in about a decade to be analyzed for signs of ancient microscopic life.

The landing of the six-wheeled vehicle would mark the third visit to Mars in just over a week. Two spacecraft from the United Arab Emirates and China swung into orbit around the planet on successive days last week.

Perseverance, the biggest, most advanced rover ever sent by NASA, stands to become the ninth spacecraft to successfully land on Mars, every one of them from the US, beginning in the 1970s.

The rover is designed to drill down with its 7-foot (2-meter) arm and collect rock samples that might hold signs of bygone microscopic life. The plan called for three to four dozen chalk-size samples to be sealed in tubes and set aside on Mars to be retrieved by a fetch rover and brought homeward by another rocket ship, with the goal of getting them back to Earth as early as 2031.