- Mission Name: Mars 2020
- Rover Name: Perseverance
- Main Job: Seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for possible return to Earth.
- Launch: July 30, 2020
- Landing: Feb. 18, 2021, Jezero Crater, Mars Planet
Perseverance, nicknamed Percy, is a car-sized Mars rover designed to explore Jezero Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. It was manufactured by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and launched on 30 July 2020 at 11:50:00 UTC. Confirmation that the rover successfully landed on Mars was received on 18 February 2021 at 20:55 UTC. As of 25 February 2021, Perseverance has been on Mars for 6 sols (7 Earth days).
Perseverance has a similar design to its predecessor rover, Curiosity, from which it was moderately upgraded; it carries seven primary payload instruments, 19 cameras, and two microphones. The rover is also carrying the mini-helicopter Ingenuity, an experimental aircraft that will attempt the first powered flight on another planet.
The rover’s goals include identifying ancient Martian environments capable of supporting life, seeking out evidence if microbial life existed in those environments, collecting rock and soil samples to store on the Martian surface, and testing oxygen production from the Martian atmosphere to prepare for future crewed missions.
Landing On Mars
The successful landing of Perseverance in Jezero Crater was announced at 20:55 UTC on 18 February 2021, the signal from Mars taking 11 minutes to arrive at Earth. The rover touched down at, 1 km (0.62 mi) southeast of the center of its 7 km (4.3 mi) wide landing ellipse.
Cost of Rover
NASA plans to invest roughly US$2.75 billion in the project over 11 years, including US$2.2 billion for the development and build of the hardware, US$243 million for launch services, and US$291 million for 2.5 years of mission operations.
Adjusted for inflation, Perseverance is NASA’s sixth-most expensive robotic planetary mission, though it is cheaper than its predecessor, Curiosity. Perseverance benefited from spare hardware and “build-to print” designs from the Curiosity mission, which helped reduce development costs and saved “probably tens of millions, if not 100 million dollars” according to Mars 2020 Deputy Chief Engineer Keith Comeaux.
Basic Technical Information –
|Length||2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)|
|Diameter||2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)|
|Height||2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)|
|Launch mass||1,025 kg (2,260 lb)|
|Power||110 W (0.15 hp)|