NASA's Perseverance Rover delivered First Helicopter, '10.9 million Names' and 'Covid-19 Tribute' to Mars
|NASA's Perseverance rover delivered '10.9 million Names' and 'Covid-19 Tribute' to Mars|
After a nearly seven-month journey through space, NASA's Perseverance rover - the largest and the most advanced rover NASA has ever sent to another world -- successfully touched down on the surface of Mars on Friday in a nail-biting landing that marks its first ...
Here are some weird things that NASA's Perseverance rover is carrying with it:
The first helicopter for another planet
Perseverance is also carrying the Ingenuity helicopter. NASA plans to deploy the helicopter from underneath Perseverance in a flat area a couple of months after the landing. The rover will then drive about 330 feet away, to capture the flight attempt with the rover’s cameras.
Ingenuity’s flight is the first powered controlled flight on another planet, in what NASA describes as “a Wright Brothers moment” on Mars.
10.9 million names
Following the tradition, NASA’s Mars rover is carrying three microchips with 10.9 million names of people who participated in the “Send your Name to Mars” campaign. The last Mars rover ‘Curiosity’ had carried a microchip with 1.2 million names on it.
|Perseverance will bring 10.9 million names to Mars on microchips attached to a metal plate reading "Explore as one." (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)|
Also contained in the microchips are 155 essays from students who made it to the finals of the space agency's rover-naming contest. That contest was won by Alex Mather, a seventh grader from Virginia. Also contained in the microchips are 155 essays from students who made it to the finals of the space agency's rover-naming contest. That contest was won by Alex Mather, a seventh grader from Virginia.
A Covid-19 tribute
In order to demonstrate the agency’s appreciation for those who have put their lives on the line for the well-being of other during the pandemic, the rover is carrying a small aluminium plate on its left side showing an image of a serpent wound around a staff holding up the Earth. It is a tribute to the doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers who are fighting the pandemic.
Mastcam-Z – “Are we alone?”
The two Mastcam-Z cameras installed in the rover are designed to boost its driving and core-sampling capabilities. The instrument provides a detailed look at the rocks and other findings on the Red Planet. "Mastcam-Z will be the first Mars colour camera that can zoom, enabling 3D images at unprecedented resolution," Jim Bell, Mastcam-Z principal investigator, said in a statement.
|Images etched onto a pair of cameras on the Perseverance rover show early forms of life on Earth, an homage to the rover's mission to search for signs of ancient microbial life on Mars. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)|
Mastcam-Z is fully functional as a camera, but it also holds a very important message, NASA said in a statement: "Are we alone? We came here to look for signs of life, and to collect samples of Mars for study on Earth. To those who follow, we wish a safe journey and the joy of discovery."
The words "joy of discovery" are also written around the message in a variety of languages, and Mastcam-Z follows in the footsteps of the Pioneer program with images of Earth's early life forms like cyanobacteria, a fern and a dinosaur. There are also line drawings of a man and woman, similar to those on the Pioneer plaques.
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