Perseverance, during its time on the Red Planet which will run for nearly 700 days or one Martian year, will look for signs of ancient microbial life.
NASA Perseverance Mars Rover: About two weeks after successfully landing on the Red Planet, US space agency NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover is gearing up for its missions. In a video shared on microblogging site Twitter, NASA’s official handle for Perseverance Rover stated that the rover has been conducting several health checkouts this past week, to ensure that it was fit to get to work. The space agency added that during this time, the rover has been able to conduct instrument testing and imaging and it has also begun to get its own arm moving. This, it said, was the “warm up” for the marathon of science it is supposed to undertake during its time on Mars.
This week I’ve been doing lots of health checkouts, getting ready to get to work. I’ve checked many tasks off my list, including instrument tests, imaging, and getting my arm moving. Warming up for a marathon of science. pic.twitter.com/A0aqhWVo5T
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— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 3, 2021
Perseverance, during its time on the Red Planet which will run for nearly 700 days or one Martian year, will look for signs of ancient microbial life. This is why it has landed at the Jezero Crater, which is believed to have contained a lake at some point of time. The Crater also has a preserved delta, which has likely also preserved ancient microbial life.
Apart from that, the rover would also be collecting and storing samples and rocks from the surface of the Red Planet to be sent back to Earth at a later stage.
Perseverance marks the fifth rover that the US space agency has landed on Mars, and it has been a historic mission because Jezero Crater is one of the most difficult terrains on the Martian surface. The rover landed on February 18 and since then, it has been checking its instruments and equipment to ensure that everything has been working properly.
The same has also been done by the Ingenuity Helicopter, which is currently strapped to Perseverance. In an earlier update, NASA had said that Ingenuity, which would be conducting the first ever controlled flight on a different planet, had sent signals to the ground control room informing that all equipment dedicated to the Ingenuity mission were working properly.
However, Ingenuity is a minor side project in this Mars mission, and while important, its testing did not take much time. Perseverance, on the other hand, is carrying out the main mission and is, therefore, packing a lot more equipment than Ingenuity requires, indicating why its testing is taking longer.