NASA Will Search for Life on Mars With Perseverance Rover

NASA is targeting a July 30 launch for its Perserverance Mars mission. The Mars rover Perseverance was stacked atop its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on July 7.

The Mars Perseverance rover will drill and collect core samples of the most promising rocks and soils and set them aside in a “cache” on the surface of Mars. The mission will advance technology to address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars. These include testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identifying other resources (such as subsurface water), improving landing techniques, and characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.

Perseverance will land in the 45-kilometre-wide Jezero Crater, just north of the Martian equator and in a spot that was once home to a lake and a river delta.

The rover will use a 2.1-metre-long robotic arm and drill a sample about the size of a penlight: 60 millimetres long and 13 millimetres across. The sample goes into a tube and is sealed. Eventually, once Perseverance has filled at least 20 of its tubes, it will cache them on the surface of Mars until some future, yet-to-be-funded robot arrives to retrieve them. NASA currently plans to work with the European Space Agency (ESA) to launch a mission in 2026 that would return the rocks to Earth in 2031.

Written By Brian Wang,

22 thoughts on “NASA Will Search for Life on Mars With Perseverance Rover”

  1. O’Neill proposed equatorial experiment to extract glass, Oxygen and metal slag almost 50 years ago. We should have done it! Some people have more advanced pipe dreams. (edit: and, we would have found the water then, obviously, in the 70’s)

  2. Lunar ISRU until five or so years ago was a pipe dream — we don’t know how to run industrial processes without water. No wonder people only started talking about setting up an outpost after ice was found in the poles.

  3. At least they hurried a bit and didn’t delay for 2 more years. Testing a method for producing oxygen from Martian atmosphere and indentifying subsurface water will be very useful for Spacex&others. If SpaceX manages to launch some spacecraft to Mars in 2022 and this mission is successful it will give they some useful things in time.

  4. A man who has delusional plans is not necessarily a delusional man, people who cannot make this distinction are fool enough to fall for his delusional plans.

  5. The delusional man whose companies: built the first reusable orbital class booster, took people to the ISS, built popular electric cars years ahead of the competition. That delusional man?

  6. Global heating, the first problem that O’Neill plan would solve, fits the bill for me as a sufficient but not necessary reason to start lunar and/or asteroidal ISRU 40 years ago, as everybody can clearly see, I would hope. “They’re not going to be built just for the sake of building them.” is of course THE problem with human-Mars delusion, no profit. Criswell LSP is a correction to O’Neill GEO SPS, but close enuf that I give O’Neill the *right idea* award. As the supporters of the current Space Force Space Solar Power experiment point out, any SSP project would make all other Space activities trivial in comparison. Join me in complaining about human-Mars coverage until O’Neill is equally presented to the public. O’Neill has the advantage of being correct. As far as 3rd generation Island 3 Settlements being “O’Neill”, you seem to be stuck there. O’Neill starts with ISRU and orbital, *non planetary surface* to be specific, activities, such as ISS, even, if it ever gets some rego to work with.

  7. Dan, you sometimes remind me of a Jehovah’s witness. Look, O’Neill colonies will come about, if they do, because they are the economically rational way to house people in space who have some pre-existing reason for being there. They’re not going to be built just for the sake of building them.

    They’ll happen on their own if they actually make sense. Nobody has to proselytize for them.

  8. I hope they find *extinct* life on Mars, which is not the topic. But there are risks that are very uncertain if there is hardly any possibility of *living* life on Mars. “distinction is obscure to you” implies that I see (or saw) any reason to think about it, whether it would actually stop the human infestation. The certain knowledge that Mars IS a planet is really all I need to know about human presence on it: not needed. Not for the humans, not for Mars. Not even Mars science, which I as always support. Risks that are merely other reasons to avoid wasting time on human-Mars delusions are not important to me, but that is because I understand O’Neill. Others may need an “excuse” to abandon that sinking ship, however. Reminds me of the uncertain risks of GEO Solar Sats compared to Lunar Solar Power or L5 Solar sat, such as space junk and light pollution.

  9. Not at all: Discovering life on Mars would in no way establish that a human colony on Mars was impossible. It would merely give some people opposed to such a colony an excuse to attack it. Maybe the distinction is obscure to you because you fall into that group.

  10. I have heard of that show, but I don’t think it was there in 1977, when I first learned what you are about to. Have you read “The High Frontier”?

  11. Most of the futurist sci-fi timeline from back then has already passed.
    Lost in Space: 1995
    Space 1999: 1999
    The Jetsons: 2000
    2001 A Space Odyssey: 2001
    2010 (sequel to Space Odyssey): 2010
    Back to the Future II: 2015

    Now we’re up to Sealab 2020. We don’t have that either. At least the Jetsons got the big screen TV’s right.

  12. We’re nowhere near ready to make an O’Neill space station. You’ve been watching Interstellar again.

  13. And in the prequels, when we humans discover life AFTER we get to the planet. Nothing bad happened. Nope. All good, there.

    All of the Alien films are essentially what would happen if we sent exobiologists to other planets and, when they got there, they were, like, “Hold mah beer…” Except the Alien and Alien: Resurrection, which were on ships (right?).

  14. That would be similar to spending years doing 0 g experiments only to find out that we cannot live in 0 g, which actually may turn out to be true. Needless risks, and a waste of time if you realize that human presence on Mars is a side issue in human Space development. Mars is a planet, after all. O’Neill Space has no 0 or fractional g worries, and very probably no life forms. No need to delay!

  15. Let’s hope no life is found until the colony is already established

    Yes, it worked out much better in those Sigourney Weaver movies…

  16. I remember watching the first pics from the Viking landers in 1976. If you had told me then that it would take another FIFTY-FIVE YEARS OR MORE to bring back but a few pounds of Martian dust (let alone set foot there), I would have said you were crazy.

  17. They already have it in mind that a starship will pick it up and in spite Musk delusional plans, that will be its first return mission from Mars. They make their announcements in time.

  18. Let’s hope no life is found until the colony is already established, and too far along to cancel. We don’t want Mars transformed into another Antarctic style nature preserve, officially barred from human use.

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