NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars


Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

An illustration of NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars. The rover landed today around noon.

by Sally Zhu, Humans of Harker Staff Profiler

NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover landed on Mars today around noon. The rover, which was launched on July 31, 2020 and is part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, will be a significant step forward in investigating the planet. The mission expands on the Curiosity rover, which was launched in 2012, and includes new technologies to search for signs of life and collect samples. 

NASA live broadcasted the landing through its website, and on multiple platforms including its YouTube channel starting at 11:15 a.m today. Many viewers anticipated the “7 minutes of terror,” or the autonomous descent of the Perseverance rover to the planet from the atmosphere to touchdown on the surface, which all occurs in 7 minutes.

“It’s one of the most fascinating things for me ever. The way NASA does their experiments and to make something land, this is true science for me,” upper school chemistry teacher Dr. Mala Raghavan said. “When you think about the positions, the calculations, velocity, the physics and chemistry, and you see it actually happening, it’s like a movie, but it’s in real life. I made sure all my kids watched it.”

Additional reporting by Sabrina Zhu.