NASA’s new Mars rover hits dusty red road, maiden voyage 21 feet

NASA’s new Mars rover hits dusty red road, maiden voyage 21 feet

NASA’s newest Mars rover hit the dusty red road this week, setting 21 feet on the odometer on its first test drive. The Perseverance rover ventured from its landing position on Thursday, two weeks after landing on the red planet, to look for signs of a past life.

The roundabout, driving back and forth took only 33 minutes and went so well that the six-wheeled rover was on the move again on Friday. During a press conference Friday, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shared photos of the tire tracks over and around small rocks.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see wheel tracks and I’ve seen many,” said engineer Anais Zarafian.

“This is just a huge milestone for the mission.” Once the Persistence system checks are complete, the rover will move to an ancient river delta to collect rocks to return to Earth in ten years.

Scientists debate whether to take the smoother route to get to the nearby delta or a potentially more difficult road with intriguing relics from that once-watery time 3 billion to 4 billion years ago.

(This story was not edited by our editorial team and was generated from a feed.)

News Highlights

  • The Perseverance rover ventured from its landing position on Thursday, two weeks after landing on the red planet, to look for signs of a past life. The roundabout, driving back and forth took only 33 minutes and went so well that the six-wheeled rover was back on the move Friday.
  • NASA’s new Mars rover hits dusty red road, maiden voyage 21 feet
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