NASA has successfully launched the Mars Perseverance rover and its Ingenuity helicopter.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 1:45pm CAT on Thursday, 30 July.
— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) July 30, 2020
This, in spite of a small earthquake which was felt by the control centre in California.
“I’m exceptionally excited about what we’re about to do because we’re going to launch Mars 2020 with the Perseverance robot,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine during a press briefing at Kennedy Space Center. “But there is so much more going on here. This is the first time in history where we’re going to Mars with an explicit mission to find life on another world — ancient life on Mars.”
Perseverance is expected to land on Mars in February 2021. It will then carry out experiments in the Jezero Crater and search for signs of antimicrobial life. It will also be able to “hear” the martian surface as it is carrying two microphones to share sounds with NASA.
It is also carrying the names of 11 million people who submitted them as part of this flight and as well as a plaque honouring global health care workers amid the pandemic, according to CNN.
Image: Perseverance Rover/ Twitter