Perseverance landed on February 18. The purpose 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 Mars.
Reading time : 1 min.
It’s a small trip for the rover, but “a huge step” for NASA. The Perseverance rover successfully spun its wheels on Mars for the first time since it landed two weeks ago, the US space agency announced on Friday (March 5th). 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.
I’m on the move! Just took my first test drive on Mars, covering about 16 feet (5 meters). You’re looking at the very beginning of my wheel tracks. Many more to make. pic.twitter.com/7tFIwWFfJ4
– NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 5, 2021
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see wheel tracks”Anais Zarifian, engineer in charge of the rover’s mobility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where it was built, told a press conference. “Our first trip went incredibly well, and it’s a huge milestone for the mission.”, she rejoiced. Another slightly longer trip is planned this Friday, and possibly Saturday as well, if all goes well.