Was there once life on Mars? Today, NASA has successfully launched the next generation of Mars rovers “Perseverance” on its quest for life on the Red Planet. (all picture Credits NASA/JPL-Caltech). The Mars 2020 mission has started 🙂
They started in Cape Canaveral on a Atlas V rocket and will arrive at Mars February 2021. Perseverance’s mission is finding microbial life in dried crater lake Jezero which hasn’t been visited before, and measure climate and geology.
On board is a tiny 1.8kg helicopter “Ingenuity” which will prove that flying in Martian atmosphere is possible despite of its 1% density in comparison with Earth. This is possible, because Mars has only a third of Earth’s gravity, and the helicopter’s blades turn 8 times as fast.
Perseverance will use some laboratory equipement from my home country Germany: thermo sensors from Jena to measure surface temperature without contact.
You can find more fun with Mars exploration in the new book The Sirens of Mars • 2020 • Non-fiction book by Sarah Stewart Johnson
You can watch the whole exciting start with lots of background information at youtube.