Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover makes history with landing

Gwen Pane, Staff Writer

The Mars rover Perseverance touched down in Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021, carrying with it numerous cameras, microphones and a helicopter. Nearly a year since its launch on July 30, 2020, the rover and its additional equipment proved historic by taking colored images and audio recordings of the planet and raising the possibility of flight on Mars.

The Mars 2020 mission has been years in the making, and this successful landing is only the first step towards its main goal. The Perseverance rover was created to seek out signs of ancient life and collect rock and regolith samples that could be returned to Earth for further research. A primary focus on these samples is to aid in NASA’s ongoing Moon to Mars exploration, which takes man one step closer to walking on the red planet.

Several cameras and recording devices documented the machine’s landing and transmitted the first-ever audio recording of our neighboring planet, which are available online to the public.  A helicopter called Ingenuity is attached to the belly of the rover and sustained no damage, meaning that it could soon execute the first ever flight in Mars’ exceptionally thin atmosphere. 

“This is really the first one that I think of as a human precursor mission,” Mars 2020 deputy project manager Matt Wallace said at a webinar by the National Academies’ Space Studies Board in reference to this revolutionary rover.

The Mars Perseverance rover was named by 14-year-old Virginia student Alex Mather, who submitted the idea and won against 28,000 other students across the U.S. 

I hope that people in the future will look at this rover as a shining example of human perseverance for years to come,” Mather explained during an interview with NBC.

Keeping to its name, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover itself posted on Twitter following its stellar landing: “I’m safe on Mars. Perseverance will get you anywhere.”