Bitter losses and outstanding victories: How Perseverance survived three years on Mars

It has been exactly three years since NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully and gently descended to the surface of Mars. Perseverance was not the first NASA’s rover to land on this distant planet, because before that Mars was conquered by its “twin brother” Curiosity, and even earlier — Opportunity, Spirit and Mars Pathfinder. However, Perseverance had a significant advantage — modern equipment, more advanced high-resolution cameras that even recorded the moment of descent to the surface.

The NASA team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California celebrated the third anniversary of the Perseverance landing on social media by sharing the latest mission statistics. Over the past 12 months, the rover has traveled 10 km along the Jezero crater and taken more than 116 thousand images transmitted to Earth for detailed analysis. The huge distance covered was achieved thanks to acceleration – the rover managed to accelerate to record speed.

The rover was collecting rock and soil samples for the future Mars Sample Return mission, which would be brought to Earth for detailed analysis in laboratories. The rover also landed Ingenuity, a miniature drone that became the first aircraft to make a controlled flight on another planet in April 2021. The helicopter conducted 72 successful flights, but a few weeks ago the extended Ingenuity mission ended due to damage to the blades, which left it permanently on the surface.

Perseverance rover. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As for Perseverance, it is hoped that it will continue its work on Mars for a long time, since another NASA rover, Curiosity, has been operating for more than 12 years after arriving at the Red Planet.

Earlier, we reported on how the Perseverance rover set a new record.

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