NASA’s Mars rover just made its first steps on the dusty Martian ground! Perseverance performed a test drive of 21 feet (6,4 meters), and new data is now available.
The rover ventured away from its landing position after landing there two weeks ago. The little trip lasted only 33 minutes, and everything went well, as NASA reported. Now, two more roundabouts are planned next week, on Friday and Saturday.
Here is what you need to know.
Perseverance Explore the Martian Land
The bold rover went forward 13 feet (4 meters), then took a 150-degree left turn. Next, it backed up a bit, 8 feet (2.5 meters). According to NASA, the trip is a huge success, comparing it with the Odyssey.
Rich Rieber, the NASA engineer who planned the route, released a statement expressing his joy and thoughts about Perseverance. He said:
“[…], adventures along the way, hopefully, no Cyclops, and I’m sure there will be stories aplenty written about it.”
What’s Next: Perseverance Will Prove its Skills More
Flight controllers permanently verify the Perseverance rover to ensure there’s no obstacle in front of the big adventure. Recently, the rover flexed its 7-foot (2-meter) muscles for the first time. Everything went well, and NASA expects the mission to continue in the same optimistic way.
Perseverance’s next big step include reaching the ancient river delta. However, before that, it must drop its “belly pan” and launch Ingenuity, the experimental helicopter.
The plan pretty much includes driving out of the landing spot, taking off the pan, and finally coming back for Ingenuinity’s much-awaited test flight. If all these go well and Perseverance keeps its systems at the required levels, we’ll be closer than ever to the main goal: collecting the sample at the Jezero Crater and return it home to Earth.
More details will be soon available, as Perseverance will continue performing other tasks.