NASA completed a groundbreaking mission to place the Perseverance land rover on Mars. Mars has a harsh environment that is challenging for collecting samples. Perseverance will help scientists explore the possibility that life once existed on the red planet.
Perseverance will explore the 3.5 billion-year-old Jezero Crater, once a lake, for preserved organic material. The rover features an instrument called MOXIE, aimed at testing technology that transforms carbon dioxide into oxygen. Future explorers may use this "tree-like" technology to generate oxygen to breathe and fuel spacecraft.
Ingenuity, a miniature helicopter, will create the first attempted controlled flight on a planet with a different atmosphere. “We’re going to be able to watch ourselves for the first time land on another planet,” said Matt Wallace, the deputy project manager for the Mars 2020 mission.
Though difficult, completing this mission would give scientists a wealth of information on what it takes to develop life on other planets.