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Mars rover Perseverance's high-tech mission to the red planet – TechCrunch

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Update: Perseverance is safe on the surface of Mars! The headline has been updated to reflect the news. There will be one more robot on Mars tomorrow afternoon. The Perseverance rover will touch down just before 1:00 PM Pacific, beginning a major new expedition to the planet and kicking off a number of experiments -- from a search for traces of life to the long-awaited Martian helicopter. Here's what you can expect from Perseverance tomorrow and over the next few years.


Perseverance rover has sent back stunning video and audio from Mars

New Scientist

NASA's Perseverance rover has sent back astonishing video footage of its 18 February landing on Mars. These videos give us the most intimate look ever at the process of setting a spacecraft down on the Martian surface. During the landing, five cameras took videos: two on the back of the capsule holding the rover, one on the sky crane that acted as a jet pack to lower the rover its final 2000 metres or so to the surface and two on the rover itself. The videos show the parachute opening to slow down the spacecraft, and then the heat shield dropping to the surface of Mars once Perseverance is moving slow enough not to need it anymore. "You can get a sense really of how violent that parachute deploy and inflation are," said Al Chen, a Perseverance engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, during a press conference.


The first helicopter on Mars phones home and confirms it is operating as expected

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The helicopter sent to Mars by NASA to explore the Red Planet from the sky has'phoned home' and is working great, according to the space agency. Named Ingenuity, it rode to Mars strapped to the belly of the car-sized Perseverance rover that will trundle along the Jezero crater in search of ancient alien life. NASA mission control in Southern California received the first status report from Ingenuity late on Friday via the space-based Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Ingenuity will remain attached the belly of Perseverance for between 30 and 60 days before it detaches and makes its maiden flight - assuming it survives the brutal average -90C overnight temperatures found on the Red Planet. NASA shared an exciting image shot by the sky crane that shows Perseverance, nicknamed Perky, slung beneath and attached to mechanical bridals – moments before making landfall. The downlink confirmed that the helicopter, and an electrical box on the rover that routes and stores communications with Earth, were both performing as expected.


Hitting the Books: How NASA survived the Reagan era 'Dark Ages'

Engadget

This week, Americans celebrated the successful delivery of NASA's Perseverance rover to its destination on the Martian surface, marking the dawn of a new era of interplanetary exploration. However, when it comes to searching the solar system around us, the US has not always led from the front. During the Reagan administration, for example, the agency saw its budget pared down in favor of building up arms ahead of an anticipated Cold War faceoff with the Soviet Union, as we see in this excerpt from David W Brown's latest work, The Mission. Excerpted from the book THE MISSION: or: How a Disciple of Carl Sagan, an Ex-Motocross Racer, a Texas Tea Party Congressman, the World's Worst Typewriter Saleswoman, California Mountain People, and an Anonymous NASA Functionary Went to War with Mars, Survived an Insurgency at Saturn, Traded Blows with Washington, and Stole a Ride on an Alabama Moon Rocket to Send a Space Robot to Jupiter in Search of the Second Garden of Eden at the Bottom of an Alien Ocean Inside of an Ice World Called Europa (A True Story) 2021 by David W. Brown. For planetary scientists, the Jimmy Carter–Ronald Reagan years were in retrospect like the Dark Ages, and they, the monks tending in enclaves to the embers of civilization.


NASA releases new images of Perseverance, surface of Mars

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. NASA's Perseverance team has already begun its work from Mars' surface and released incredible images on Friday taken from the rover. In a news conference, experts said they could only hope the photographs from their mission might be able to contribute to already iconic images from years of space exploration. "And, I'm happy to say that I'm hopeful that we can contribute with this," NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Mars 2020 Chief Engineer Adam Steltzner stated. In the first image revealed, Perseverance is shown approaching its landing site in Mars' Jezero Crater and hanging just 6.5 feet over the ground.


NASA shares photos from Perseverance's descent to Mars

Engadget

The image you see above was taken just moments before NASA's Perseverance rover successfully landed on the surface of Mars, and it's just the first of many high-resolution photos to come. NASA pulled the image from a video of the rover's descent that is in the process of being transmitted to Earth. "This shot from a camera on my'jetpack' captures me in midair, just before my wheels touched down," the rover's official Twitter account said. NASA's Curiosity rover and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught Perseverance's trip to the surface as well. Every picture tells a story.


Perseverance rover is in 'great shape', says NASA after $2.2billion rover LANDS successfully

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA says its Perseverance rover is in'great shape' after successfully landing on the surface of Mars last night after a 239 million-mile journey. The landmark landing shortly before 4pm ET (9pm GMT) was watched live by millions as NASA live streamed the process to millions of eager viewers. The $2.2billion car-sized rover guided itself to a patch of smooth terrain in Jezero, a 28-mile wide and 820ft-deep crater which was home to a Martian lake 3.5 billion years ago. Perseverance, nicknamed Percy, survived the dreaded'seven minutes of terror' which saw it endure temperatures in excess of 2,000 F as it entered the Martian atmosphere at more than 12,000mph. Perseverance beamed back its first image of the crater moments after NASA established radio contact with the rover, leading to raucous applause and joyous scenes at NASA's Californian mission control. Flight controller Swati Mohan announced to relieved colleagues: 'Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking signs of past life.' 'The good news is the spacecraft, I think, is in great shape,' said Matt Wallace, Deputy Project Manager of Mars 2020. Perseverance will spend the next two Earth years scouring for signs of life in the crater and will perform a host of experiments.


NASA's astrobiology rover Perseverance makes historic Mars landing

The Japan Times

Los Angeles – NASA's science rover Perseverance, the most advanced astrobiology laboratory ever sent to another planet, streaked through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday and landed safely on the floor of a vast crater, its first stop on a search for traces of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet. Mission managers at the U.S. space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles burst into applause, cheers and fist-bumps as radio beacons signaled that the six-wheeled rover had survived its perilous descent and arrived within its target zone inside Jezero Crater, site of a long-vanished Martian lake bed. "Touchdown confirmed," Swati Mohan, the lead guidance and operations specialist announced from the control room. The robotic vehicle sailed through space for nearly seven months, covering 293 million miles (472 million km) before piercing the Martian atmosphere at 12,000 miles per hour (19,000 km per hour) to begin its descent to the planet's surface. Moments after touchdown, Perseverance beamed back its first black-and-white images from the Martian surface, one of them showing the rover's shadow cast on the desolate, rocky landing site.


NASA Lands Perseverance Rover Safely on Mars

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Now the search for life on Mars begins in earnest. After a seven-month, 292-million-mile journey, NASA's fastest and best-equipped rover ever--Perseverance--touched down safely Thursday on the red planet, NASA officials said. The $2.7 billion rover landed in an ancient lake bed called Jezero Crater at about 3:55 p.m. EST on Thursday, the jubilant officials said. The two-year Perseverance mission is the latest and most ambitious effort by NASA to find evidence of past life on Mars. The 1-ton, SUV-size rover will spend the next two years prospecting for evidence of ancient microbes.


What it takes to get a job building robotic Mars explorers for NASA

Engadget

After a thankfully uneventful seven-month journey, NASA's Mars 2020 mission is set to safely reach the Red Planet and insert itself into orbit on Thursday ahead of deploying the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter prototype that it's been toting down to the planet's surface in search for evidence of ancient microbial life. However, this expedition has been in the works for far longer than Perseverance has been travelling through interplanetary space. First announced in 2012, the mission marks the culmination of nearly a decade's work by hundreds of machinists, designers, rocket scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. But not just anyone can get hired there, working for the world's premiere spacecraft production facility and building equipment that will grace the surfaces of neighboring planets. For Mohamed Abid, a Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer on the Mars 2020 mission, the path to working at the JPL began in Tunisia, where he grew up.