We humans are very curious about space exploration and want to see what is up with our neighbouring planets. We successfully stepped on the Moon on 20th July 1969 and are aiming to go to Mars, our closest planetary neighbour. To make it possible, we have conducted exploration missions on the barren lands of this Red Planet. One such mission is Perseverance.
It is a rover vehicle sent to Mars for exploration and collecting information related to its atmosphere and barren surfaces. This is one of the proudest missions conducted by NASA to explore this planet and to find evidence of life. Let us find out the Mars Perseverance Rover landing time and launching time.
This astrobiological project has been named Perseverance. The name gives an apt description of this mission as the rover will tolerate the wild climatic conditions of this planet and will explore the unexplored areas of this planet.
It was set to launch on 22nd July 2020, but it was postponed for a few days due to unprecedented weather conditions. Proper adjustment in the calculation of its trajectory path was made so that it could land in the right location on this planet.
The auspicious day of Perseverance lift off was 30th July 2020. The time was 7:50 AM according to the Eastern Time zone. In India, the time was 5:20 PM IST. NASA faced a huge issue when the date was postponed as it had only a small window ranging up to 15th August to set the right course for Perseverance.
All the adjustments needed to be done before the launch. Scientists worked relentlessly to make it possible and launched it eight days after the scheduled date, hoping that the rover would land in the designated location. It took off from the Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA.
If this time was missed, the space exploration organisation would have to wait for two more years till the earth and Mars aligned in favourable positions in their respective orbits.
Perseverance Rover Navigating Mars
Also Read: Red Planet Day - Facts about Our Neighbour Mars
As mentioned earlier, Perseverance is a robot rover that can be controlled remotely taking videos and pictures. It will also collect rock samples from the barren surfaces of this planet.
The plan was going smoothly until the weather conditions delayed it. It all went well. The rover was carried by a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 rocket. The journey was set for seven months to reach the desired destination on Mars.
You will be surprised to know that this mission was named an American middle school student named Alexander Mather. It was a competition held countrywide, and school students participated in it. Students must explain why they want to give a specific name to this rover. It was Alexander who won and got an auspicious chance to name it.
This rover cap travelled 155.6 million km and landed on Jerezo Crater on the designated date. It was 18th February 2021, the coveted Perseverance Rover landing date, when the robot vehicle had a successful touchdown.
This was a proud moment for NASA and the whole world that our space missions are now multi-planetary. We are successful in collecting information by directly landing a robot on a planet.
The Perseverance landing time IST was 02:25 AM IST. The landing process started at 02:08 IST and ended 17 minutes later. Before the landing has begun, this robot has already started collecting information from a height of 300 km. It took information related to the thin atmosphere surrounding Mars before landing and also sent pictures of the crater.
Admirers in India waited eagerly to receive the news of this marvellous achievement. They felt relieved in the Perseverance landing time India and learned that the rover has safely touched the surface of this barren crater.
It was in 1997, NASA demonstrated a robot that can travel on Mars’ rugged terrain. It was named Sojourner. Opportunity and Spirit were the two rovers that landed on Mars in 2004. They found extraordinary evidence based on running water on the planet in a frozen desert on the red planet.
Eventually, NASA developed even better rovers to land on this planet. Curiosity has been navigating the terrain of Gale Crater since 2012. It was discovered that the landing site in this crater was once a huge lake. The evidence dates back billions of years, showing that this water body might have been capable of supporting microbial life.
We know from the Perseverance Rover landing time in India that this rover is active since February 2021. It has collected samples from Jerezo Crater, a 45-km wide depression on Mars. It is located 20 degrees north of the equator of this planet.
Scientists are collecting and analysing samples from the surface of this crater to find any evidence of ancient microbial life forms. Since February 2021, after Perseverance landing IST, it has travelled 2 km and reached a raised ridge named the Citadelle.
Perseverance has 23 cameras on its structure. We can see everything as it telecasts the feed. It has interaction tools to collect samples. Its rock abrasion tool (RAT) grinds and brushes off the outer layers of weathered particles from rock samples. The samples are stored safely in titanium shells waiting for future retrieval.
This is all about the NASA Perseverance Rover landing time in India and its sample collection. We will learn a lot about the Red Planet and will someday conduct a manned mission.