NASA’s Perseverance rover survived a nail-biting landing phase to touch down gently on the surface of Mars after seven months in space on Thursday.
The Perseverance rover is now ready to embark on its mission to search for the signs of ancient microbial life.
“Touchdown confirmed. The #CountdownToMars is complete, but the mission is just beginning,” NASA said at 2:29 am on Friday on its Twitter handle.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover was launched July 30, 2020 and it landed on Mars on Thursday (February 18, 2021).
“After 203 days and 300 million miles, our @NASAPersevere landed on Mars at 3:55 p.m. EST on Feb. 18. After spending some time checking out its systems, it’ll be rolling across the Red Planet, looking for signs of ancient Martian life,” NASA tweeted.
The Perseverance rover landed in a deep crater near the planet’s equator called Jezero.
“The good news is the spacecraft, I think, is in great shape,” the mission’s deputy project manager Matt Wallace said.
The engineers and scientists at the mission control of the NASA in California erupted with joy when the confirmation of touchdown came.
The rover will now spend at least the next two years drilling into the local rocks, looking for evidence of past life.
Jezero is believed to have held a giant lake billions of years ago.
US President Biden has congratulated NASA for the historic landing.
“Congratulations to NASA and everyone whose hard work made Perseverance’s historic landing possible. Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility,” US President Biden tweeted.