The Perseverance rover on Mars

IN THE MAKING: The Preserverence in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ben Meyler | Writer

February 26, 2021

On February 18, 2021, the Perseverance rover successfully landed on the surface of Mars after a nearly 300 million mile journey since it departed from Earth almost 6 months ago. This new rover will collect rock samples and bring them back to Earth for possible future studies by scientists. Mars’s first-ever audio recordings were captured along with high definition footage of the planet itself. The teams at NASA put photos together to create the first 360-degree panorama of Mars that allows scientists to see objects close up and from afar. The progression of science in space is rapidly improving, meaning that new discoveries are soon to be found. 

HD: This is the panorama made up of 142 individual images. Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CALTECH/ASU/MSSS

Perseverance has taken photos, videos, and even captured sound using its 25 cameras. It has shared its findings with the public on its Twitter account, which has quickly gained 2.3 million followers.  The minutes-long audio caught a breeze for a few seconds, along with mechanical sounds of the rover operating on the surface.

The concept of space is very complex and confusing to many. “Sometimes I forget that space is real and not just in movies… It’s crazy how advanced we’ve become, I just can’t even process half the information I hear about space and science” Junior Liam Smith said. As science progresses, we continue to find more answers about this unknown. 

“I hope that someday humans will figure out a way to travel to Mars in my lifetime, or at any time at all really,” Junior Kaylee Rask said. “Who knows, maybe someday that’ll be our future home.”  As far as life goes on Mars, evidence suggests that during the Noachian time period, the surface of Mars had liquid water and it may have been habitable for microorganisms. 

Elon Musk even claims that the SpaceX Mars mission could launch as early as 2024, meaning humans could possibly inhabit Mars soon. Mars has an atmosphere about 100 times thinner than Earth’s atmosphere and it has very little oxygen, making it impossible for humans to live there without a spacesuit.

Space is a mysterious place and we are slowly answering the unanswered wonders of the universe. Will people someday step foot on Mars? How soon is someday? Hopefully, these questions can be answered from what NASA and other scientists and space organizations end up finding. If Elon Musk keeps his word, we should be seeing a Mars landing pretty soon. With the current developing technology, there’s no doubt in my mind that people will soon step foot on Mars.

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