'Red' Rover finds its forever home: NASA's Perseverance touches down on Mars

Friday, February 19
Ciarán Mather

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has revealed that its Perseverance rover has successfully landed on Mars.

It follows after three separate space probes controlled by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the USA and China recently reached Earth's neighbour over the past few days, with the Perseverance rover being the last one to reach it.

Perseverance will collect rocks for analysis back on Earth, as well as for any potential habitable conditions and micro-organisms, that could prove that the Red Planet once hosted life of its own.

NASA posted a witty tweet pretending to be the rover, where it said: ' I’m safe on Mars. Perseverance will get you anywhere.'

In a follow-up tweet, the rover said: 'Hello, world. My first look at my forever home.'

The tweet was well received by many fans of the rover, which now has a big job ahead of it:

Speaking ahead of the landing, Kenneth Williford, a deputy project scientist on the mission, said during a news conference on Wednesday, said: 'It's an enormous undertaking that’s in front of us, and it has enormous scientific potential to really be transformative. The question is, ‘Was Mars ever a living planet?’

Meanwhile, NASA's director, Lori Glaze, has since commented on the landing by saying: 'Now the fun really starts.'

Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk also chimed in on the news, calling the landing a 'pivotal moment' for NASA, the United States, and space exploration globally.

He added: 'The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission embodies our nation’s spirit of persevering even in the most challenging of situations, inspiring, and advancing science and exploration. The mission itself personifies the human ideal of persevering toward the future and will help us prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.'

Perseverance is about the size of a car and cost around $2.7 billion to build.

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