Watch NASA’s Dramatic Mars Video Ahead of Rover’s Arrival

With two separate missions making it safely into Mars orbit in the past few days, excitement is growing as to whether NASA can make it three times in a row for an international space effort aimed at uncovering some of the secrets of the distant planet, as well as ours own solar system.

The United Arab Emirates became the first Arab nation to reach Mars when their Hope orbiter arrived on Tuesday, February 9th. China followed a day later when its Tianwen-1 spacecraft entered Mars orbit before attempting to land its rover in months’ time. NASA’s Perseverance rover is expected to arrive on the red planet on Thursday, February 18. And he won’t be hanging around as the spacecraft will attempt the challenging procedure on the same day to land the rover safely on the Mars surface.

The movie-like trailer below includes an animation showing the planned autonomous landing. NASA says it will be “jarring” for Perseverance (as well as the team waiting for news on Earth) for seven minutes as the spacecraft experiences dramatic changes in speed and extreme temperatures in the final moments of its descent. Correct use of the parachute and jetpack is also crucial for the successful landing of the rover.

Read this article on digital trends for a detailed look at how NASA plans to achieve persistence next week.

On February 18, the @NASAPersevere rover will land on Mars to search for signs of ancient life and test technology that paves the way for future human exploration of the Red Planet. How to proceed with: https://t.co/my2sbHYtRh #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/GuIyyb6Sb1

– NASA Mars (@NASAMars) February 10, 2021

If everything goes according to plan, Perseverance will end up in Jezero Crater, a 45 km wide impact basin with an ancient river delta, sheer cliffs, sand dunes, boulders and smaller impact craters.

The main goals of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission are to find signs of ancient life, collect rock and soil samples for return to Earth, and collect data for future human exploration of the planet.

The mission will also see an aircraft fly for the first time on another planet when NASA’s Persistence Ingenuity helicopter takes off from the surface of Mars for its maiden flight.

While you wait in the coming days for Perseverance to enter the all-important seven-minute phase that will successfully complete the billion dollar mission, you can take advantage of this awesome simulator to get an overview of the likely tasks to successfully complete the rover to land on the surface of Mars.

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