The Perseverens rover has halved its way to the Red Planet

The Perseverens rover has halved its way to the Red Planet.

NASA's latest Persivians rover, which was launched in July, has halved its way to the Red Planet, DPA reported, citing the US space agency.

NASA reports that the rover has traveled 235 million kilometers. The spacecraft is about to travel the same distance to reach the atmosphere of Mars by February 18.

"While I don't think there will be a cake, especially since most of us work from home, it's an achievement worth noting", said NASA navigator Julie Kangas.

NASA's next-generation Perseverance rover is on a mission to the Red Planet in search of ancient microbial life. The 1,040-kilogram rover was launched by an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida on July 30.

Percyviance is the size of a car (three meters long and 2.7 meters wide) and, like its predecessor, Curiosity has six wheels that allow it to overcome rocks. The rover will draw energy from a nuclear mini-reactor.

Perseverance has two main purposes - to look for traces of ancient microbial life and to collect samples. They will be hermetically sealed in a container inside the rover, awaiting a future joint Mars mission by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to return them to Earth.

One of the most difficult maneuvers in Perciviance's voyage, called "seven minutes of terror" by engineers, will be its descent through the Martian atmosphere, during which the robotic explorer will have to endure extreme heat and speed. The rover will need to deploy a set of supersonic parachutes before launching miniature rocket engines and descending slightly to the surface.

The 250-meter-deep Jezero Crater, the landing site of Persivians on Mars, was chosen after years of scientific debate and controversy. About 3.5 billion years ago, there was a lake the size of Tahoe in this place, from which a network of rivers originated. Experts believe that the Jezero crater may have "collected and preserved ancient organic molecules and other potential signs of life at the microbial level".

Jezero was chosen because of its supposed geological richness, which could reveal the history of the planet, which before becoming cold and dry had lakes and possibly oceans. Scientists believe that there may be at least five types of rocks, including clay and carbonate rocks, and the likelihood of finding traces of past life is higher.

Perseverance will deliver to Mars a mini-helicopter named "Engine", which should test equipment for future human missions to the Red Planet. The United States plans to send astronauts to Mars in the 1930s.

The Perseverance robotic explorer is the fifth rover NASA has sent to Mars after Sojnerner (1997), Spirit and Opportunity (2004) and Curiosity (2012).

Like its predecessors, Perseverance (Permanence) was named after a student competition. The "godfather" of the rover was Alex Maider from Burke, Virginia.

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