Nasa’s Perseverance rover in ‘great shape’ after Mars landing

Nasa's Perseverance rover in 'great shape' after Mars landing
In this picture from an engineering camera, it's possible to see the shadow of the rover's robotic arm. Source: NASA
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Daily US Times: There is a new robot on the surface of Mars. The American space agency Nasa has successfully landed its Perseverance rover in a deep crater near the planet’s equator called Jezero.

Matt Wallace, the mission’s deputy project manager, said: “The good news is the spacecraft, I think, is in great shape.”

Engineers at Nasa’s mission control erupted with joy when the confirmation of touchdown came through.

The six-wheeled vehicle will now spend at least the next two years looking for evidence of past life and drilling into the local rocks.

Jezero is thought to have held a giant lake billions of years ago and where there has been water, there’s the possibility there might also have been life.

The signal alerting controllers that Perseverance rover was down and safe arrived at 20:55 GMT. In the past they might have high-fived and hugged but strict Covid-19 protocols meant they had all been separated by Perspex screens. A respectful fist bump was about all they could manage.

Nonetheless, the excitement of the success was evident and the applause continued when the first two images came in. The images taken by low-resolution engineering cameras. There was dust covering the still-attached translucent lens covers, but it was possible to see a flat surface both in behind and front the rover.

Post-landing analysis indicated the Perseverance had come down about 2km to the south east of the delta feature in Jezero that Perseverance plans to investigate.

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