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NASA's Mars Perseverance completes successful

Despite a global pandemic here on Earth, NASA is persevering with its miss

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NASA's Mars Perseverance completes successful
30 Temmuz 2020 - 10:12
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Despite a global pandemic here on Earth, NASA is persevering with its mission to Mars -- launching its most advanced "Perseverance" rover to discover more about our neighboring red planet.

"We are in extraordinary times right now with the coronavirus pandemic and yet we have in fact persevered, and we have protected this mission because it is so important," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at a news conference Tuesday.

He added that he thinks the name of the rover -- chosen by a seventh grader from Virginia -- is "perfectly appropriate" for the times.

The launch took place Thursday at 7:50 a.m. ET from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It will be broadcast live on NASA's website and YouTube channel.

Illustration of NASA astronauts on Mars.Illustration of NASA astronauts on Mars. NASA

On Tuesday, Perseverance made its way onto the launch pad, and the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron predicted an 80% chance of favorable weather conditions for Thursday's launch.

The rover's main job is to seek out signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for a possible return to Earth, according to NASA. It will also test out new technology to pave the way for future robot or human exploration of our neighboring planet.

Perseverance is the most sophisticated rover NASA has ever sent to Mars. Ingenuity, a technology experiment, will be the first aircraft to attempt controlled flight on another planet. Perseverance will arrive at Mars' Jezero Crater with Ingenuity attached to its belly.Perseverance is the most sophisticated rover NASA has ever sent to Mars. Ingenuity, a technology experiment, will be the first aircraft to attempt controlled flight on another planet. Perseverance will arrive at Mars' Jezero Crater with Ingenuity attached to its belly. JPL-Caltech/NASA

"This is the first time in history when NASA has dedicated a mission to what we call astrobiology, the search for life, maybe now or ancient life, on another world," Bridenstine said.

MORE: What to know about China, UAE and US missions to Mars this summer

The mission will also feature "a bunch of other neat things," according to John Logsdon, a professor emeritus at George Washington University's Space Policy Institute.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard is seen on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41, July 28, 2020, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard is seen on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41, July 28, 2020, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Joel Kowsky/NASA

"There is an attached little helicopter that is going to fly like a drone over the Martian surface and give us images," Logsdon told ABC News.

"There is an experiment called 'MOXIE' that will see whether it is possible to manufacture oxygen out of the methane in the Mars atmosphere, which would be important for eventual human missions," he added.

A close-up view of a full size model of the Ingenuity helicopter, part of the Perseverance rover set to launch to Mars, is displayed at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, July 28, 2020. This will be the first time a drone helicopter will be used on another planet.A close-up view of a full size model of the Ingenuity helicopter, part of the Perseverance rover set to launch to Mars, is displayed at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, July 28, 2020. This will be the first time a drone helicopter will be used on another planet. Gregg Newton/AFP via Getty Images

The launch also comes on the heels of two other nations -- the United Arab Emirates and China -- sending missions to Mars over the summer.

The six-wheeled rover is expected to land on Mars on February 18, 2021. Perseverance is then expected to stay on the Red Planet for at least one Martian year, or 687 Earth days.


Source : abcnews.go.com
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