Only one week to go! On Feb. 18, 2021, NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover (aka Percy) makes its final descent to the Red Planet, landing via a sky crane. Mars is too far away for mission controllers to help; the car-sized craft’s programming is all it has to rely on. The maneuver’s been used before, in the “seven minutes of terror” that we all endured when Curiosity landed. But still, I’ll be holding my breath (with a few gasps interrupting the seven minutes.)
Here’s what NASA has planned:
The mission will explore Jezero crater, which scientists speculate was a 250 m (820 ft) deep lake about 3.9 billion to 3.5 billion years ago. Jezero today features a prominent river delta where water flowing through it deposited much sediment over the eons, which is “extremely good at preserving biosignatures”. The sediments in the delta likely include carbonates and hydrated silica, known to preserve microscopic fossils on Earth for billions of years. Wikipedia
NASA has a great resource site: download lots of information, learn how to participate and watch the mission, and there are activities for students. The first interplanetary drone helicopter is aboard this mission, and I can’t wait to find out how that works out.
Until humans land on Mars in real-life, we make-do with science fiction. Join settlers in the first, near-future colony. Struggle for survival. Battle the deadly planet and sometimes each other. Set on the real-Mars as science knows the planet, my stories are full of action and suspense mixed with a vision of how you might one day live your life on the Red Planet. Click now and read the individual books at Amazon and other favorite stores, or get the value-priced box set, also available at Amazon and other favorite stores.