After a 7 month journey the Perseverance Rover made its landing on the surface of Mars. The 2-ton rover which landed in the Jezero Crater right around 2:56PM Central will provide new opportunities to learn about Mars with the goal to send humans there one day.
“There is a number of cameras, there is a radar that can penetrate through the surface, the MEDA instrument which is a weather station; we’ve had weather stations on Mars since the 70’s with the Viking program. There’s an instrument called MOXIE it is actually going to produce oxygen, it is going to take the Carbon Dioxide that’s really really rich in that atmosphere and it’s our first attempt to create oxygen on another planet.”
Also on board the rover is the Inguniety drone helicopter which will be the first powered flight on another planet.
According to Tony this is a very large achievement for the US Space Program.
“How about sending this thing that you have worked on and dedicated your career to for the last decade or so and sending it off to do this really incredible thing, this really dangerous thing and you can’t help and the reason you can’t help is that Mars is about 11 minutes and 22 seconds light time away from Earth so, its not like we can receive data from the rover and react to it and send back its updated commands, it has to do everything on its own.
The first photos have already been sent back here to Earth with higher detailed photos expected to come in.
Along with scientific instruments the rover also contains over 1 million names on a computer chip including a certain Meteorologist here at News 15.
From Lafayette and now Mars, I’m Storm Track 15 Meteorologist Cory Smith