On 30th July, 2020 NASA has launched its new mission to mars, called the Perseverance mission. The Mars Perseverance rover was launched toward the Red Planet at 7:50 a.m. EDT ( 11 : 50 GMT ), riding an Atlas V rocket into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Here are five interesting facts about this mission :

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When NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter attempts its first test flight on the Red Planet, the agency's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will be close by, as seen in this artist's concept. Courtesy : NASA/JPL-Caltech

  1. The Perseverance is expected to land on 18th February, 2021. The mission duration is one mars year ( about 687 Earth days ). Perseverance Rover will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance NASA's quest to explore the past habitability of Mars.

  2. The perseverance will land on Jezero Crater on Mars, a 28-mile-wide ( 45-kilometer-wide ) crater on the western edge of Isidis Planitia, a giant impact basin just north of the Martian equator. The crater was a possible oasis in its distant past. Between 3 billion and 4 billion years ago, a river there flowed into a body of water the size of Lake Tahoe, depositing sediments packed with carbonite minerals and clay. The Perseverance science team believes this ancient river delta could have collected and preserved organic molecules and other potential signs of microbial life.

  3. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars.

  4. Perseverance carries a technology demonstration — a proof-of-concept experiment — called MOXIE ( Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment ). This instrument will produce oxygen from Mars' carbon dioxide atmosphere, demonstrating a way that future explorers might produce oxygen for rocket propellant as well as for breathing.

    The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer ( MEDA ) instrument suite will also be key for future human exploration, providing information about the current weather and climate, as well as the nature of the dust on the surface. The Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation 2 ( MEDLI2 ) package, a next-generation version of what flew on the Mars Science Laboratory mission that delivered the Curiosity rover, will help human exploration, too, providing data about the entry and descent of the spacecraft through the atmosphere.

  5. There is a helicopter ( named Ingenuity ) inside the belly of the Perseverance rover. After safe landing it will get detached form the main rover to perform its operation, the first helicopter attempting to fly on another planet. Ingenuity features four specially made carbon-fiber blades, arranged into two rotors that spin in opposite directions at around 2,400 rpm – many times faster than a passenger helicopter on Earth. This is a technology demonstrator. The copter can reach the place where a rover can not.

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