It’s the most technologically advanced, versatile, reliable and flat-out cool vehicle ever created on Earth. And it’s working like a charm so far on Mars.
NASA sent their latest “Rover” called Perseverance to the red planet and after a six month journey that covered 293 million miles, it landed last Thursday and started sending video back to earthlings Monday.
The images are historic, a first-of-its-kind look at the landing on another planet.
There’s another first that is going to take place on this two year mission for the plutonium powered rover, the first flight on another planet. Yeah, Perseverance is so tricked out it even carried a small helicopter with it on the trip to Mars called Ingenuity.
Kudos to the engineers and scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, as they were responsible for building Perseverance and hopefully getting a nice return on the $2.4 billion investment into the robot’s mission.
The price tag on the landing and operation of Perseverance on Mars is $300 million alone.
The bells and whistles Perseverance is equipped with is staggering. The vehicle is roughly the size of a small car, and weights about a ton. The go-to gizmo is the robotic “hand” that is equipped with a camera, a chemical analyzer and a rock drill.
It’s powered by a plutonium generator from the U.S. Department of Energy, and it generates it’s own electricity for it’s two lithium-ion batteries.
On top of the video images sent back to earth, Perseverance also is recording the first ever audio recordings on Mars. A microphone picked up a short clip of a breeze and sounds of the rover operating.
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement “this video of Perseverance’s descent is the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit.”
The dramatic video is definitely worth a watch, and never, ever let anyone tell you that rocket scientist’s don’t have a sense of humor!
NASA named this video “How to Land on Mars.”