NASA’s Perseverance rover is finally getting down to business
NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars way back in February. Just moments after its safe touchdown, the massive machine sent back images of the Martian surface and began relaying all kinds of data so that its handlers back on Earth knew it was doing okay. With that quick start, you’d think that the rover would be well into its science campaign by now, but in truth, it’s only just beginning.
Perseverance is a big, complex machine with a lot of high-tech hardware built-in. Like any responsible space agency, NASA had to follow its own strict guidelines on how the first weeks and months of its mission were going to play out. For Perseverance, it meant lengthy tests of its various sensors and motors, but even that wouldn’t have been enough to delay the science phase until June. So what caused the large gap between landing and science investigation? Ingenuity.
Perseverance wasn’t the only NASA machine that touched down on the Red Planet in February. The Ingenuity helicopter, which rode to Mars on the belly of Perseverance, also arrived in one …
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