NASA’s Perseverance rover makes historic Mars landing

• Perseverance, part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, is the most advanced astrobiology laboratory ever sent to another world.

Key highlights:

• Four science objectives- Studying Mars’ Habitability, Seeking Signs of Past Microbial Life, Collecting and Caching Samples, and Preparing for Future Human Missions.

Payloads:

• Moxie or Mars Oxygen ISRU (In Situ Resource Utilization) Experiment: which for the first time will manufacture molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich.

• Ingenuity the first ever helicopter to fly on Mars.

Significance of Mars:

• Possibility of life on Mars is high-Life evolved on Earth 3.8 billion years ago. Conditions on Mars roughly around 4 billion years ago were very similar to that of Earth.

• Mars is the only planet that humans can visit or inhabit in the long term – Venus and Mercury have extreme hot temperatures. All planets in outer solar system starting with Jupiter are made of gas and are very cold.

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Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech

Prelims level: NASA’s Mars 2020 mission

Mains level: Significance of Mars

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