At 1.50 p.m. (Italian time) the Perseverance probe took off from NASA’s Cape Canaveral base in Florida to search for traces of life on Mars
A new chapter in the race to Mars. At 1.50 pm (Italian time) the space probe Perseverance was launched from the NASA base at Cape Canaveral. The takeoff is part of the Mars 2020 mission with which the American Space Agency intends to search (and hopefully find) traces of life on the surface of Mars. Perseverance should reach the orbit of the Red Planet by the end of the year and land on the Martian surface on February 18, 2021. From that date, the Rover present in the probe will begin the exploration of the Mars surface and will collect samples to bring back (in the future) to Earth. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that “this is the first time in history that NASA has dedicated a mission dedicated to what we call astrobiology, the search for life”.
It’s launch day! 🚀
Join @NASA at 7 a.m. ET for live coverage of liftoff of @NASAPersevere aboard this @ulalaunch rocket. Launch to the Red Planet is scheduled for 7:50 a.m. ET: https://t.co/A9sbAYbCl3 pic.twitter.com/benx20ir1x
— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) July 30, 2020
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NASA: Perseverance will search for traces of life on Mars
On board the probe there are also some materials that could be used in the future for the suits and helmets of the astronauts who will walk the Red Planet. During the mission, these materials will be tested to verify their actual ability to protect against cosmic rays and solar radiation that arrive in large quantities on the surface of Mars due to the thin atmosphere of the Planet. With Perseverance, NASA intends to lay the groundwork for man’s arrival on Mars. “The mission will prepare samples to bring back to Earth in the future and prepare for future human exploration” said Mars 2020 Mission Chief Adam Steltzner. The launch of Perseverance comes just days before the departure of the Chinese mission Tianwen-1 which will also reach the orbit of the Red Planet in February next year. After two or three months, the probe should then attempt the landing in the expanse of Utopia Planitia, the same choice by NASA for the docking of Perseverance. If the mission is successful, China will become the third country (after the United States and Russia) to bring a probe to Mars.
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