NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance launch: Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will also be bringing back some rock samples from Mars that will help NASA for analysis.
Mars 2020 Perseverance rover launch: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover on Thursday. NASA Perseverance is the latest rover designed by NASA which will wander on Mars, exploring the unknown lands of the Red Planet. The launch took place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
What will Perseverance do?
Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is expected to help NASA in three different ways. It will help in better understanding of Mars. Firstly, the rover will be carrying a unique instrument known as Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) which will be manufacturing molecular oxygen on the planet with carbon dioxide as the gas is rich in Mars’ atmosphere. According to a report by The Indian Express, NASA is trying to push the concept of In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) where the local resources are used to meet requirements of the spacecraft or human needs. If this is not done, the exploration at Mars will turn out to be expensive and further make it impossible to study. The report highlighted that if astronauts have to carry oxygen and water for themselves and rocket fuel for a two-year journey, sponsoring such costs is a huge liability. Therefore, if oxygen can be generated on Mars, it can help humans as well as manufacturing rocket fuel for return journeys.
Further, the report said Perseverance rover will also be taking Ingenuity (the first-ever helicopter to fly on Mars) with it. NASA, for the first time, is trying to fly a helicopter on another planet. Ingenuity is designed to fly in a thin atmosphere and will be helping the rover in planning and sample fetching.
Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will also be bringing back some rock samples from Mars that will help NASA for analysis. The idea behind it is to look for biosignatures (signatures of past or present life). The analysis of rocks obtained from Mars will also indicate regarding the environment on the planet, thereby indicating if any life sustained or can sustain on Mars.
Notably, NASA has been sending rovers on Mars since 1997 when the Mars Pathfinder Mission was initiated. As the mission turned out to be successful, NASA decided to continue going to Mars to find evidence. Second time, the space organization sent twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity to Mars in 2003. The third attempt was by sending Curiosity in 2012. After this, NASA has sent Perseverance in 2020 for proper analysis of Martian land.