Perseverance Rover Starts Its First Martian Drive
This Rover Has Advanced Navigation System Installed Allowing Continuous Analyses On The Path Ahead
The United States space agency’s Perseverance rover has successfully landed on Mars and has been able to undergo its first-ever Martian drive. The total distance covered by the rover for its exploration of Mars up till now is only 6.5 meters. The lead scientists for the deputy project by NASA stated that the small distance drive by the Perseverance rover is a very significant moment. Although there are several engineering checkouts being done by the rover at this moment, at the time when the Perseverance rover begins to properly start its exploratory Martian drive, it would easily be able to travel the vast surface of the planet.
It has been two weeks since the rover has successfully been able to land without damage on the Red Planet. The team of engineers working on this project has spent a long duration commissioning this vehicle and its various complex systems, including the robotic arm and multiple required instruments.
Numerous people have been waiting for the Perseverance rover to start its movement. This major step happened on Thursday when the rover was able to initiate its small but significant Martian drive. The rover traveled first in the forward direction, then spun on its axis at 150 degrees, and then reversed. The tracks made by the wheels are easily identifiable on the surface of Mars.
The drive of Perseverance rover made for exploration on Mars is a huge milestone for the specified mission along with the mobility team. One of the mobility engineers by NASA stated that they have been able to drive on Earth, but the ultimate goal was to drive on Mars, which has been successfully achieved through the hard work of numerous individuals for several years.
Exploratory drive through Mars
The Perseverance rover was put down near the Jezero crater and would start exploration on Mars by looking for evidence regarding past lives. The rover would involve a Martian drive comprising of a total of 15 kilometers of the area, which would be covered in the duration of one Martian year (which is equivalent to roughly two years on Earth).
Currently, scientists are looking forward to reaching s various enticing rock formations in the near-equatorial Jezero crater, which might provide a record of ancient biological activities. Among the data collected up till now through satellite imagery includes a delta, which is a structure made from the sand and slit by a river as it gradually enters a larger body of water. In the case of Jezerocrater, the wide body of water was probably a lake that existed around billions of years ago on the planet.
There are two probable routes to reach the delta by the Perseverance rover, which are currently being considered by the mission team, out of which one would require the rover to go past an isolated remnant that could provide additional information to the scientists.
Helicopter flight on Mars
The initial goal of the Perseverance rover is to perform its helicopter experiment. A small-sized chopper has also been sent alongside the rover to Mars. The aircraft is currently strapped on the underbelly of the Perseverance rover.
The vehicle is set to spend the upcoming initial weeks by driving from its current location to a suitable flat surface area where a compact device weighing 2 kilograms named Ingenuity can be installed on the ground.
The possible flight zones are under consideration, and the finalized decision would be made based on the navigating camera images and stereo imagery provided by the Perseverance rover to analyze the wide terrain. Alongside camera photos, orbital images would also factor in providing for the safest flight zone on Mars. The aim of the mission team is to make a complete flight plan in the coming months.
The Perseverance rover is the fastest vehicle that has ever been sent to Mars by NASA. The advancement made has not made major changes in the speed of the rover as the wheels are able to turn at around 5cm/sec but in the autonomous navigation system. This robot has the ability to capture images to evaluate the road ahead. The previously developed vehicles used to stop after some time to access the pathway in front, but Perseverance rover can easily perform this task while moving.