The Perseverance rover has traveled its first meters on Mars
During this first trip made Thursday afternoon, and intended to check the correct functioning of the system, the vehicle, equipped with six wheels, advanced 4 meters, then made a rotation on itself to the left, before perform a rear maneuver for about 2.5 meters.
By backing up, Perseverance was able to take a photo of its own wheel tracks on Martian soil, published by NASA.
In total, the rover, which is the size of a large SUV, covered six and a half meters in 33 minutes.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see wheel marks,” Anais Zarifian, engineer in charge of the rover’s mobility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has worked at a press conference, told a press conference. been built.
“Our first trip went incredibly well, and it’s a huge milestone for the mission,” she said.
Another slightly longer trip is planned this Friday, and possibly Saturday as well, if all goes well.
The vehicle will be able to travel 200 meters per Martian day (days very slightly longer than on Earth). It travels five times faster than Curiosity, the other NASA rover still operating on Mars.
Perseverance landed on February 18 in Jezero Crater, which scientists believe was home to a deep lake 3.5 billion years ago. The goal of the mission is to collect rock samples that will be brought back to Earth by a subsequent mission, in order to look for traces of ancient life on the red planet.