One Step Closer to Human Exploration of Mars

Image of the Perseverance Rover and the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter


Image of the Perseverance Rover and the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

Ava Malloy, Contributing Writer

Will the Mars Perseverance Rover find signs of life on Mars? The Rover launched July 30th, 2020 and it is the fifth rover NASA has sent to Mars. It recently landed on Jezero Crater in Mars on February 18th, 2021. 

The main job of the Perseverance rover is to find signs of ancient life and to collect samples of rock and soil for potential return to Earth. The mission’s goal is also to study the habitability of the planet and test oxygen production. 

The Perseverance rover is equipped with a dual camera system that zooms in, takes high definition pictures, uses panoramic color and can take 3D photos of the surface. The cameras help assess which rocks should be collected and help scientists determine atmospheric conditions as well as the geological history of the Red Planet. On the NASA website, you can even vote for your favorite photo from the rover.

This rover is a great step forward in learning more about Mars in order to eventually send humans, and NASA has made many efforts to share the rover’s mission and findings with the public. Still, the topic is unknown to many in Hingham. As Hingham High School junior Thomas Healey explains, “The mission seems pretty interesting, but I don’t know much about it.” 

This TikTok video with over 2 million views shows the excitement of Miguel San Martín when the rover landed on Mars. Miguel worked on all five rovers and has worked at NASA for over 35 years. Miguel was also the chief engineer of the previous 4 Mars landings. For the Mars 2020 mission he worked as an advisor. 

Junior Lila Mercurio shares some of Miguel’s sentiments, explaining, “I am very excited because I think the Mars rover will make some groundbreaking discoveries. I’m looking forward to learning more about the expeditions.” The Perseverance Rover is going to help pave the way for human exploration of the Martian planet and, like Lila said, should have some interesting findings. 

Attached to the belly of the rover is the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. Nicknamed “Ginny,” the helicopter will be the first to test powered flight on another world. Once a suitable location is found, the rover will release Ginny and a series of flight tests will occur over a 30-martian-day time period. 

Freshman Tadd Cavanaugh comments on the mission saying, “It is very cool to see this advancement. It will be interesting to see what other expansion on Mars will follow.” It is interesting to see the advancements of the rovers, especially the addition of the helicopter. 

You can even listen to sounds of Mars as well! The Mars Perseverance rover will make amazing discoveries as NASA pushes the boundaries of human exploration from the moon to eventually mars.