Touchdown on the Red Planet.

Touchdown on the Red Planet.

Hayden Kolarik, reporter

In the past few months, science has been advancing rapidly not just in the medical field but also in other areas. With the world on lockdown, space has been looking more vast than ever, more people looking to the stars wondering what and maybe even who is up in that vast black void. Well, humanity might just have gotten one step closer to finding out.

On February 18th, 2021 the perseverance rover made its first contact with the red planet. Mars has been long suspected of having ancient life before becoming the dye dusty wasteland we see now. Four other rovers have been sent to Mars to try to examine the planet with perseverance being the newest and most advanced one yet.

Perseverance upgrades include having a way to get rock samples from deep in the Martian surface and having a larger turret than the curiosity. The turret is like the hand of the rover; it has the coring drills and two scientific instruments. Perseverance is also getting more advanced software than curiosity. The rover is somewhat autonomous with it having a greater function to do things without controllers guiding it from Earth.

All of this high-tech is going to be used in Perseverance’ss various missions. Its main mission is to find rocks that have been altered or formed by water which scientists believe could show signs of life. Its secondary mission is to find chemical traces of ancient life in rocks to see what life was like on Mars (if there were any). Its 3rd objective is to drill samples from the Martian surface and store them for later pickup by a future human-led mission. Its 4th mission is to test if it is possible to produce oxygen from the carbon dioxide-infested air of the martian atmosphere.

Perseverance is also carrying something very special, the ingenuity helicopter. The ingenuity will be the first helicopter on mars with it also being the first to hopefully take flight on mars. Scientists have planned a period of 30 days where they are hoping to get in 1 or more flights.

With a planet that suffers from global warming and that has had its resources nearly drained Mars is looking better and better. Every year science and technology are growing faster and faster to keep up with humanity’s hunger for knowledge. That hunger for knowledge shows humanity’s ability to persevere over anything, even a pandemic.

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