NASA’s mobile robot “Perseverance” has successfully completed the first year of its long mission on Mars in search of data indicating the possibility of life on its surface, while scientists on Earth are waiting for what the rover will find, which is the most complex of the vehicles sent so far to Mars.

On February 18, 2021, the roving robot landed on the surface of the Red Planet after a seven-month space flight. The scientist held his breath as he watched its astonishing descent through the thin Martian atmosphere for seven long minutes of ‘terror’, followed by an overwhelming sense of relief when the vehicle opened its wheels without incident at the site of an ancient lake, Jezero Crater, reports Al-Rai quoting AFP.

This was followed by a three-month phase devoted to training or “taming” the seven tools carried by the chariot on unknown and potentially difficult conditions.

In a statement to AFP, the engineer at the French National Institute for Scientific Research, Pernille Bernardi, who is responsible for the French-American tool “Supercam”, which is the “eye” of the roving robot, said, “The land of Mars is a land of many dangers, as it is full of pebbles and sand dunes. In its early days, the vehicle recorded sounds and sent them to the ground officials.

“It was one of the great discoveries this year, as no one had ever heard of Mars!” But the scientist never got tired of the red planet. “We are addicted to it,” he said. We are discovering a new world, just as the fifteenth-century explorers did.”

There is a symbolic significance for the coincidence of the date of the first anniversary of the “Perseverance” mission with the millionth laser shot on Mars, a technique that aims to read the chemical composition of rocks, including 885,000 shots by “Curiosity” and 115 thousand by “Perseverance.”

The most difficult thing is undoubtedly the control of the vehicle’s steering, which is shared in cooperation and alternately by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States and the French Space Agency in Toulouse.

So far, Perseverance has traveled four kilometers, including 500 meters last weekend, which is a record. There is no point in moving quickly. The goal of the mission is for the vehicle to collect, within six years, about forty well-selected samples, and another vehicle to transport these samples to Earth by 2030.

“You have to be patient, Perseverance is like a turtle, very smart,” commented the Arizona State University astronomy professor and lead researcher on the Mastcam-Z instrument.

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