Mars Perseverance Lands Successfully

Well, the Perseverance rover has landed successfully on Mars, and now begins the multi-day activating of systems, upgrading the software on the rover from its "traveling in space and landing" software to the actual surface operations software, and testing things out. This will take the next 10 days or so.

NASA has some very nice images of the landing event. Here is where the rover actually landed in the delta:


The onboard landing software had to guide the rover to an acceptable landing spot. Below is an image of the area of the landing--red color indicated dangerous landing areas, blue represents acceptable landing areas, with yellow being more middle/unknown areas. You can see the challenge that the landing software faced--but it did its job well!


The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft was orbiting overhead as Perseverance landed and snapped this amazing photo of the capsule containing the rover descending under its parachute to the surface. The circle indicates where the rover eventually landed on the ground:

As the rover itself was being lowered by the sky crane, the retro-rocket module that was slowly lowering it to the ground snapped the following photograph (a still from an unreleased video) with the rover dangling in the Martian air:

Finally, the first color picture from the rover on the ground, from the underbelly hazard camera (the high resolution cameras have yet to be deployed):

The story can be found here:

Hopefully, this is the start of something pretty cool!

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CB's picture

The US and China are not the only countries that are going to Mars. The UAE has also launched a space program. But theirs has something extra special - it is headed by a woman!

Women lead way in UAE mission to the red planet
Mars project chief tells of the empowerment the launch has given the Arab state's scientists and engineers
by Stephen Bryen February 13, 2021

A space probe now orbiting Mars has propelled the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into a leading position among Arab states as its 34-year-old mission leader highlights the advanced role women play in the country.

The al-Amal (hope) craft arrived at Mars on February 9 and it was placed in orbit around the red planet, a maneuver that was regarded as particularly tricky.

Of particular note is the leadership provided by Sarah al-Amiri. She is the Emirati Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, chair of the UAE Space Agency and the United Arab Emirates Council of Scientists, and deputy project manager of the Emirates Mars Mission.

Unlike their neighbor and sometime partner Saudi Arabia, the UAE takes an entirely different approach to the role of women in society. The UAE constitution guarantees equal rights for men and women.

Women enjoy the same legal status, access to education, the right to practice professions, and the right to inherit property as men.
In the Hope project, women make up 34% of the launch team.

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snoopydawg's picture

Absolutely incredible achievement and huge kudos to everyone involved in it.

Thanks for your comment too, CB.

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