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NASA Perseverance rover safely lands on Mars after incredible seven-month, 300million mile journey

NASA Perseverance rover safely lands on Mars after incredible seven-month, 300million mile journey

A NASA robot landed on Mars last night in a 292million-mile search for extraterrestrial life. The US space agency’s Perseverance rover finally to

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A NASA robot landed on Mars last night in a 292million-mile search for extraterrestrial life. 

The US space agency’s Perseverance rover finally touched down on the Red Planet after an incredible seven-month journey.

The first images arrive moments after NASA's Perseverance Mars roverspacecraft successfully touched down on Mars

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The first images arrive moments after NASA’s Perseverance Mars roverspacecraft successfully touched down on MarsCredit: Reuters
Members of NASA's Perseverance rover team react after receiving confirmation the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars

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Members of NASA’s Perseverance rover team react after receiving confirmation the spacecraft successfully touched down on MarsCredit: The Mega Agency
An illustration of NASA's Perseverance rover landing safely on Mars

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An illustration of NASA’s Perseverance rover landing safely on MarsCredit: Rex Features

Scientists held their breath during the “seven minutes of terror” as the vehicle plunged through the thin Mars atmosphere before landing. 

Experts were especially nervous because it faced an 11½-minute communication lag as the landing approached — so the rover was on its own, unable to rely on controllers.

But then a huge cheer erupted from the control room as it was confirmed the landing was a success. Nasa chief Steve Jurczyk called it “amazing”.

Perserverance’s Twitter account posted a picture of the surface of Mars with the message: “Hello, world. My first look at my forever home.

“I’m safe on Mars. Perseverance will get you anywhere.”

The Mars 2020 mission aims to collect samples of the planet’s rocks and gravel — which will help scientists learn whether there was ever life there. 

NASA's Perseverance rover reaches speeds of nearly 12,500 mph

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NASA’s Perseverance rover reaches speeds of nearly 12,500 mphCredit: Rex Features
An illustration of NASA's Perseverance rover slowing down before landing

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An illustration of NASA’s Perseverance rover slowing down before landingCredit: Rex Features
An illustration of NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on Mars

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An illustration of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on MarsCredit: Rex Features
An illustration of the aeroshell containing NASA's Perseverance rover

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An illustration of the aeroshell containing NASA’s Perseverance roverCredit: AP:Associated Press

The rover, nicknamed Percy, will scoop up the materials, which will then be set aside until 2026 when a retrieval craft is launched to collect them. 

It means scientists will not get their hands on them until the early 2030s — should plans by Nasa and the European Space Agency go smoothly.

A special space helicopter, the Ingenuity, is attached to the belly of Perseverance.

The drone-like tech — its body the size of a box of tissues — is set to be switched on today.

If everything goes to plan, it will be released to attempt a series of 90-second flights, scoping the terrain for areas of interest for its rover buddy.

This computer simulation shows NASA's Perseverance Mars rover landing on the Martian surface

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This computer simulation shows NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover landing on the Martian surfaceCredit: Alamy Live News

Plutonium-powered Percy will charge its batteries overnight as it sleeps.

The team will work on Mars time where days are about 40 minutes longer than Earth’s.

Buzz Aldrin, 91, the second man to walk on the Moon in 1969, posted a video of himself watching the landing and wrote: “Perseverance pays off!”

Hundreds of critical events were executed precisely on time for the rover to land on Mars safely

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Hundreds of critical events were executed precisely on time for the rover to land on Mars safelyCredit: AP:Associated Press
The entry, descent, and landing sequence was perfectly executed

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The entry, descent, and landing sequence was perfectly executedCredit: Rex Features
Jezero Crater, the landing site for the Mars Perseverance Rover

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Jezero Crater, the landing site for the Mars Perseverance RoverCredit: Rex Features
NASA's Perseverance rover begins its descent through the Martian atmosphere - an illustration

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NASA’s Perseverance rover begins its descent through the Martian atmosphere – an illustrationCredit: Rex Features
Nasa explains how its Perseverance robot will pull off daredevil landing on Mars

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This post first appeared on Thesun.co.uk

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