The American Perseverance rover made its first ride on the surface of Mars: 6.5 meters in 33 minutes, the US space agency NASA reported.
During the first test drive, the rover first drove forward 4 meters, then turned left by 150 degrees, and then retreated another 2.5 meters.
– It went incredibly well. The six-wheel drive did a great job, NASA’s Anais Zarifian said at a press conference.
“We are now confident that the propulsion system is operational and will help wherever science takes us in the next two years,” emphasized Zarifian.
Perseverance is able to cover 200 meters a day.
NASA has presented photos taken by the rover, which show the traces of the wheel tread left after the first ride on the surface of Mars.
The rocket with the rover was launched in July last year from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Two weeks ago, Perseverance landed in the Jezero Impact Crater, which is 49 km in diameter. Probably in the ancient history of Mars there was a lake of liquid water in this place.
NASA scientists have several goals for this mission. Perseverance will look for traces of organic life, it will measure the chemical and mineral composition of the surface, as well as temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity and the properties of dust floating in the atmosphere.
The collected samples will return to Earth and will allow you to better prepare for the next missions. It is also important how the applied technical and technological solutions will prove, which can be used in future missions, including those involving people.
Perseverance is the size of a car and weighs just over a ton.
A special flying Ingenuity (ingenuity) drone, resembling a small helicopter, will take off from the rover. It will be powered by sunlight, and during the mission it is to perform at least a few reconnaissance flights at a short distance from the parent vehicle. This is the first machine of this type in the history of astronautics.
The drone will climb to a height of 3-5 meters, its range is approximately 50 meters from the take-off site and 90 seconds of flight time.
The seven scientific instruments working on board the rover include a fluorescence spectrometer for the X-ray range, a radar imaging the subsurface area, a set of sensors for meteorological measurements, a device for experimental oxygen production, a camera for taking photos, chemical and mineralogical analyzes from a distance, a stereoscopic camera with zoom capability image, ultraviolet spectrometer.
The cost of the entire Mars 2020 project was approximately $ 2.5 billion. NASA estimates that another $ 300 million will be spent on continuing the mission, which is expected to last one Martian year (687 Earth days).