Perseverance Rover Will Search For Possible Traces Of Life On Mars
The main task of the Perseverance Rover is to search for traces of life on the planet and test new technical solutions that can be used for a manned expedition to Mars and research of other planets in the Solar system, according to NASA Director Jim Bridenstine at a briefing broadcast on the website of the Kennedy Space Flight Center.
"The upcoming Mars Rover mission is the first time in history when the main task is research in the field of astrobiology," he said. "This is a search for existing or possibly pre-existing life on this planet. We send the rover to an ancient crater that was once the bottom of a lake. There might once have been living there, but we don't know that now."
According to the Director of NASA, previous research shows that 3 billion years ago, Mars had an active atmosphere. There was water, the surface of the planet was protected from the effects of solar radiation. "It is possible that there were conditions for life on Mars at that time," he added. The rover will collect soil samples for subsequent delivery to Earth, this will be "the first time in history when we will carry out a flight from Mars to Earth," said the Director of NASA.
During the work of the rover, he continued, new technologies will be tested, in particular, the production of oxygen for life support systems. "In this way, the prerequisites for a manned expedition to Mars will be created," Bridenstine believes. Besides, a helicopter will be launched from the rover, which will fly for the first time in the atmosphere of another planet. In the future, this experiment will allow for new research on planets."
Another feature of the upcoming mission, according to Deputy flight program Manager Matt Wallace, will be that the rover has microphones installed. "For the first time, we will get the opportunity to hear how the process of parachuting and landing will be carried out," he said. Also, the rover has scientific instruments created by scientists from France, Spain, and Norway.
The launch of a launch vehicle with the Perseverance Rover from the Cape Canaveral space center is scheduled for July 30 at 07:50. The samples collected by the rover will be returned to Earth by a special joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, which will not be sent to Mars until 2026.