Humans have been looking to go to another planet for generations. Something special about this century is that the first steps of humanity becoming an interplanetary species are happening today—namely with the several missions made to our neighbor Mars, the Red Planet. NASA has sent a couple of rovers to Mars already, such as Opportunity and Curiosity, but in 2020, a newcomer arrived at the scene: Perseverance. Launched in July 2020, the 2260-pound rover will land at the Jezero Crater on Mars to carry out its mission, which is expected to last two years. On its journey to Mars, Perseverance is cruising at ---,---,--- (---,---,---). And once it gets there, the rover will seek to better understand the planet.
Where is Mars 2020 now?Space in 3D Web App
Mars 2020 spacecraft is currently ---,---,--- (---,---,---) from the Sun, and ---,---,--- (---,---,---) from us.
Since last night Mars 2020 is 163,000 km (101,000 mi) closer to Mars. Since you started looking at this page it is 0 km (0 mi) closer.
Aim of the mission
One of the fascinating goals of Perseverance, as well as the previous rovers that went to Mars, is that they’re looking for signs of ancient Martian life. Perseverance will collect more rock and soil samples which will provide valuable insights into the geology and internal composition and origins of the Martian world. The hunt for microbial life will provide more answers to these mysteries. The rover has a few crucial instruments that it will utilize, such as advanced cameras, chemical analysers, and spectrometers. Additionally, the Perseverance mission will be the first demonstration of new technology: the Ingenuity helicopter, which is tagged along with the rover on the ride to Mars. The helicopter will be the first instance of controlled flight on another planet.
Why it is exciting
Whether it’s Perseverance, Curiosity, or Opportunity, the excitement surrounding these missions is with the implications presented for the near future. Leaders on the forefront of space exploration such as Elon Musk have created enthusiasm for space travel among the general public, leading to discussion in recent years regarding sending humans to Mars to establish a presence. NASA and Elon Musk already have outlines for what Martian colonies may look like, and the work of rovers like Perseverance will set the foundation for that exciting future. Additionally, as the rover uncovers more secrets about the history of Mars, it may help us determine if the Red planet could be terraformed, creating a new home for humanity
But of course, we’re still in the early stages of all of this. Perseverance is set to arrive on Mars in February 2021, and even then there is still a lot of work to be done before we can think about establishing Martian colonies or creating artificial atmospheres. Perseverance has two years of science to be done on Mars when it gets there, and it seems like for a while, we’ll mostly be sending robots over there. What makes the ambitious colonization missions spectacular, though, is how feasible and close they are in our scientific roadway. Even if there’s a lot to be done, these missions will have visible progress made in the next few decades. And it's up to dreamers and visionaries to make these goals of humanity ultimately into a reality.
Using SpaceIn3D’s simulation, you check where the Perseverance Rover is on its journey to the Red Planet, in real time, before it reaches the Red Planet in 2021.
Photo Credit and other: NASA, ESO/S. Brunier, NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI, NASA/JPL-Caltech, JAXA, University of Tokyo & collaborators, UH/IA, Solar System Scope/INOVE CC BY 4.0, Wikipedia/Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, icons8.com, Péter Eke, NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Roman Tkachenko, Wikimedia Commons, Hayabusa 2 Arrival illustration by Akihiro Ikeshita (permission granted), oNline Web Fonts, Font Awesome