New Delhi: American space agency NASA is all set to send a life-hunter to Mars on Thursday (July 30) that will search for signs of life past or present on the Red Planet.
NASA’s Perseverance rover Liftoff is expected at 7:50 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. In India, the liftoff can be watched live at 5:20 pm.
You can catch the online live stream of NASA’s Perseverance rover Liftoff here.
According to NASA, Perseverance will land on Mars in February 2021 and the rover will use several high-end instruments including 23 cameras to examine the climate and geology of the Red Planet.
NASA has tweeted:
— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) July 27, 2020
“Perseverance will bring all human senses to Mars. It will sense the air around it, see and scan the horizon, hear the planet with microphones on the surface for the first time, feel it as it picks up samples to cache, perhaps even taste, it in a sense, as it performs chemical analyses of the dust,” said NASA’s Thomas Zurbuchen during a press conference on July 20.
After landing on the surface of Mars, Perseverance will release a small helicopter called Ingenuity from its underside. “We as human beings have never flown a rotorcraft, a helicopter, anywhere outside of Earth’s atmosphere, so it’s really a Wright Brothers moment on another planet,” said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity’s lead engineer, during the press conference.
The first interplanetary helicopter, Ingenuity, is ready for liftoff on a 7-month voyage to Mars.
Aung added that Ingenuity will remain in air only total of 15 minutes at most, but such helicopters could be used in the future to carry out research in inaccessible areas. Aung noted that helicopters like Ingenuinty can also serve as scouts for rovers and astronauts.
Perseverance will will also carry an instrument which will be used to extract oxygen from the carbon dioxide in thin atmosphere of Mars. “Perseverance is also the bridge between science and human exploration that demonstrates how the two can support and reinforce each other,” said Zurbuchen.