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Self-guided NASA rover lands on Mars looking for signs of ancient microbial life

The Mars rover, a six-wheeled, SUV-sized robotic vehicle, sailed through space for seven months to land on a prime spot for geo-biological study of the red planet for signs of ancient extraterrestrial life. It takes radio waves 11 minutes to reach Earth. (Listen to:- DAVID BOWIE: Life On Mars?:)

LOS ANGELES, Feb 18: The NASA's Mars rover, an astrobiology lab looking for extraterrestrial microbial life, landed on the red planet on Thursday. As planned, the rover named Perseverance descended safely on the floor of Jezero Crater, an erstwhile lake bed, to the great applause of the scientists at the jet propulsion lab here.

The six-wheeled, SUV-sized robotic vehicle, after sailing through space for seven months, a distance of 472 million km, pierced through Martial atmosphere at 19,000 km per hour to rest on a prime spot for geo-biological study on Mars. It takes radio waves 11 minutes to travel from Mars to Earth. The descent and landing was self-guided by the robot, marking a major advancement in spaceflight.

“Touchdown confirmed,” a cool Swati Mohan, the guidance and operations specialist, who was leading the rover landing, announced from the control room. “Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars,” the Indian-American said, her childhood ambition of exploring the outer space having fulfilled!

Two subsequent Mars missions are planned to retrieve the samples of sediments Perseverance will extract from the Martian rock and return them to NASA in the next decade for a study of possible ancient life forms on the red planet.

“Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility.” President Joe Biden congratulated the NASA.

Curiosity and InSight were two previous NASA Mars rovers.

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