NASA Perseverance Mars rover celebrates one year on red planet

On Friday, NASA celebrates one year of successful operation of its most technically advanced Martian explorer, the Perseverance rover — and its Ingenuity helicopter companion.

Halfway through its journey, the robotic roaming science lab is racing against the clock to collect possible evidence of ancient life on the red planet. 

Year One milestones

Within its planned mission duration of one Martian year, or about two Earth years, the Perseverance rover is tasked with collecting samples of the Martian surface that will eventually be returned to Earth to search for evidence of ancient microbial life that might have once existed on the now dry and dusty planet.

“Perseverance is very much on a mission to gather a certain number of samples in a certain amount of time. And then, be able to put those down so hopefully, the future Mars Sample Return mission can pick them up,” said Rick Welch, Perseverance Deputy Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “And so, that does put the time pressure on us to continue to make progress,” he continued.






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