Success! NASA’s Perseverance rover has just landed on Mars
After a harrowing plunge through the thin Martian atmosphere, the robotic explorer ‘Percy’ can begin its landmark hunt for signs of ancient life
It’s wheels down for the newest robot to inhabit Mars. Just before 4 p.m. eastern time, the hulking, multibillion-dollar NASA rover Perseverance landed safely on the red planet after a 300-million-mile journey and a nerve-racking plunge to the Martian surface.
"Touchdown confirmed. Perseverance is safely on the surface of Mars," said Swati Mohan, an engineer on the Perseverance team.
The one-ton, nuclear-powered Perseverance made a swift, acrobatic descent through the thin Martian atmosphere that, if all went well, has been captured on video for the first time. The rover autonomously timed its movements so that it would alight within a roughly four-mile-wide landing ellipse in Mars’s Jezero Crater, which once hosted a deep