February has been a busy month for Mars, with both the United Arab Emirates and China sending instruments to study the planet’s surface.
Today, it’s America’s turn: NASA’s rover, called Perseverance, is expected to touch down. Among its cargo is a helicopter drone, Ingenuity, which will perform the first-ever controlled flight on another planet.
Best of all, you can watch the historic moment from home, by tuning into the official NASA stream at 2:15 p.m. You can also check it out on NASA’s app, its YouTube channel, Twitter or Facebook page.
The rover is projected to touch down around 3:55 p.m. Here’s everything you need to know about the landing.
On July 30, 2020, the Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral carrying the rover to Mars. The mission was a decade in the making. Now, more than six months since blasting off, that rover is finally ready to land, equipped with cutting-edge tools that will snap photos, record audio clips and collect samples.
Perseverance is the largest rover to ever attempt landing on Mars’ surface. That’s because it has so much to do, from searching for signs of ancient life, to gathering rocks, dust and soil samples that it will bring back to Earth. It will also try out technologies that could eventually help the dry planet support human life.
The six-wheeled rover is expected to take seven minutes to descend from the top of the Martian atmosphere to the planet’s surface in less time than the 11-minute-plus radio transmission to Earth, Reuters reports. Thursday’s final, self-guided descent of the rover spacecraft will occur during a white-knuckle interval that JPL engineers affectionately refer to as the “seven minutes of terror.”
Ingenuity, a helicopter, weighs less than 4 pounds, but it’s strong enough to withstand Mars’ atmosphere, which is 95 percent carbon dioxide. It can fly for up to 90 seconds to distances of 980 feet and 10 to 15 feet high, helping it get aerial photos.
The landing site
After conducting a five-year study, NASA chose Jezero Crater as the ideal spot for the rover to land. Why? Scientists suspect that 3.5 billion years ago, it was flooded with water and home to a flourishing river delta. If so, the sediment might still contain signs of life.
- If your own taped corruption didn’t destroy the judiciary, what will criticism do?- lawyer asks Judicial ServiceIn Ghana, NewsMarch 1, 2021Lawyer and advocate for legal education reforms in Ghana, Mawuse Oliver Barker-Vormawor has asserted that criticising the courts and holding it to ...[Read more]
- New Mum, Adesua Etomi Shares Photos Documenting Her Pregnancy, Childbirth and MotherhoodIn EntertainmentMarch 1, 2021Adesua Etomi-Wellington has shared photos documenting different stages of her pregnancy and the back story for each photo. The new mum also shared ...[Read more]
- Shatta Wale threatens to beat music producer for exposing him for not paying for his servicesIn Entertainment, Ghana, NewsMarch 1, 2021Dancehall artiste Shatta Wale has threatened to beat music producer MOG for exposing him. MOG on Sunday in series of tweets exposed Shatta Wale for ...[Read more]
- Being a celebrity doesn’t prevent me from doing my matrimonial duties at home – Diana HamiltonIn Entertainment, GhanaMarch 1, 2021‘Adom (Grace)’ hitmaker and powerful vocalist, Diana Hamilton has revealed that despite the busy schedules that come with her celebrity status, she ...[Read more]
- “I miss my daughter” – Actress, Ada Ameh weeps over loss of only childIn Celebrity NewsMarch 1, 2021Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh continues to grief over the death of her only child, Aladi Gift, who died in October 2020 after battling a prolonged ...[Read more]
- It’s unnecessary to cane children – Diana Hamilton fumesIn Entertainment, GhanaMarch 1, 2021Award-winning Ghanaian gospel music icon, Diana Hamilton has disclosed on Kastle FM in an interview with Amansan Krakye monitored by MyNewsGh.com ...[Read more]
- God hates homosexuality but grace is available for them – Diana HamiltonIn Entertainment, GhanaMarch 1, 2021The advocacy for the legalization of LGBTQ+ rights in Ghana has been met with mixed reaction and condemnation with Diana Hamilton saying that God’s ...[Read more]
- EPL: Arteta warns Gabriel Martinelli after Arsenal defeated Leicester City 3-1In EPL, SportsMarch 1, 2021Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta, has warned forward, Gabriel Martinelli, that he needs to keep working hard to get back to his best following his side’s ...[Read more]
- “You were not 12, not your cousin, stop lying” – Reactions as Nengi shares throwback photo with cousin at age 12In Celebrity NewsMarch 1, 2021Popular reality star, Nengi Rebecca Hampson has shared a throwback photo of herself with her cousin from when she was 12-years-old. Taking to Twitter ...[Read more]
- EPL: I’m baffled referee Attwell didn’t award Man United penalty against Chelsea – Mark ClattenburgIn SportsMarch 1, 2021Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes, has disagreed with Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel’s comments following both sides’ Premier League 0-0 draw. ...[Read more]