NASA’s Perseverance rover will make its final descent to Mars on the 18th of February 2021 at approximately 12:55 p.m. PST
NASA‘s Perseverance rover is just 9 days away from making its descent down onto Mars. On Thursday, February 18th, 2021, at approximately 12:55 p.m. PST (3:55 p.m. EST) the rover will plunge through the thin Martian atmosphere at 12,000 mph and land at the Jezero Crater.
The mission will aim to discover if there was ever ancient life on Mars by collecting compelling rock and soil samples. Once the samples have been returned back to Earth, scientists will use a variety of sophisticated instruments to help find answers to this question.
It will also help to pave the way for future human expeditions to Mars by testing a method for producing oxygen, identifying other resources such as subsurface water, improving landing techniques, and characterising weather, dust, and other environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.
The rover was first launched on July 30th, 2020, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The complete mission will take at least one Mars year, which is the equivalent to about 687 Earth days.
So far, only around 40% of missions to Mars have been successful. Perseverance will be the fifth NASA rover to attempt the difficult landing.
The NASA TV broadcast from Mission Control will start at 11:15 a.m. PST/2:15 p.m. EST. on Thursday 18th February.