UPDATED 1/22/2021 3:30 p.m. ET: On Monday, NASA released an audio clip that gives people an idea of what it sounds like on the surface of Mars.
UPDATED 4:45 p.m. ET: Perseverance has successfully landed on Mars.
See original story below.
The car-sized rover was launched in July 2020 and is aiming to land on mars at around 3:55 p.m. ET. If the landing is succesful, it will mark NASA’s fifth rover to land on Mars. The effort will kick off NASA’s plans to search for signs of life, and the mission could reveal new details about the history and geology of our planetary neighbor.
“Perseverance is attempting to answer one of the biggest questions in the history of humanity: Is there life elsewhere in the solar system?” said Explore Mars co-founder and CEO Chris Carberry, per NBC News. “If people can’t get excited about this mission, I don’t know what’s wrong with them.”
Before all of that research takes place, however, Perseverance will have to land successfully.
NASA has been up-front in saying landing the rover on Mars is no small task, with some describing the descent to the surface as the “seven minutes of terror.” In order to land successfully, a sequence of programmed events will have to occur exactly when intended. Due to the complications of deep-space communication, it should be noted that NASA’s mission control might not be able to track the progress of the mission in real-time.
“No Mars landing is guaranteed, but we have been preparing a decade to put this rover’s wheels down on the surface of Mars and get to work,” said Jennifer Trosper, deputy project manager for the Perseverance, in a statement.