NASA’s Perseverance rover has landed on Mars in search for extra-terrestrial life

On Thursday NASA’s Perseverance rover has successfully landed on Mars. The touchdown took place on Mars' Jezero crater and marks the beginning of the agency’s most ambitious effort to investigate whether there was once life on Mars.

The rover is about the size of a car and is equipped with advanced cameras as well as state-of-the-art laser and radar technologies that will aid its mission to search for signs of ancient microbial life in the Jezero area, a 30-mile-wide crater that was once a lake. This is the largest and most technologically sophisticated rover NASA has ever sent to another world, and it carries the necessary scientific tools to enable the search of life beyond Earth.

“It‘s an enormous undertaking that’s in front of us, and it has the enormous scientific potential to really be transformative,” said Kenneth Williford, a deputy project scientist on the mission. “The question is, ‘Was Mars ever a living planet?’”

The rover’s main goal however is to collect Martian rock samples that will later be collected and brought back to Earth as part of a follow-up mission.

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