NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover To Carry Over 1 Crore Names To Red Planet (Photo Credit: NASA)
NASA’s Mars rover 'Perseverance' is all set to take the names of more than 1 crore people to the Red Planet. Yes, you read it right. It is to be noted that NASA's "Send Your Name to Mars" campaign had invited people across the world to submit their names to ride aboard the agency's next rover to the Red Planet. Well, as many as 10,932,295 people have sent their names to NASA.
According to a statement from the US space agency, the names were stenciled by electron beam onto three fingernail-sized silicon chips, along with the essays of the 155 finalists in NASA's "Name the Rover" contest. The chips were then were attached to an aluminum plate on NASA's Perseverance Mars rover at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 16, 2020.
This comes days after NASA announced the name of the agency’s next Mars rover (Mars 2020) as ‘Perseverance’. The name ‘Perseverance’ was suggested by seventh-grader Alexander Mather, who submitted the winning entry to the agency’s "Name the Rover" essay contest, which received more than 28,000 entries from K-12 students from every US state and territory.
NASA further stated that the coronavirus has not impacted the Mars Perseverance rover launch schedule so far.
The Perseverance rover is a robotic scientist weighing just under 2,300 pounds (1,043 kilograms). It will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize Mars' climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and help pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.
JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, is building and will manage operations of the Mars Perseverance rover for NASA. The agency's Launch Services Program, based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management. The Mars 2020 project with its Perseverance rover is part of a larger program that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Charged with returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA's Artemis lunar exploration plans.
Importantly, the Mars 2020 alias Perseverance will be launched towards the red planet in July 2020. The rover will land in a crater called Jezero, about seven months (February 2021) after departing Earth. Jezero is an area on Mars where liquid water flowed once. Perseverance will use a suite of high-tech tools to scout for signs of ancient alien microbes. The robot will have a laser blaster to analyse interesting rocks from afar.
Perseverance weighs 2,314-pound (1,050-kilogram). The rover currently is at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Kennedy is responsible for launch management. The rover is part of a larger exploration program that includes missions to the Moon to prepare for human missions to the Red Planet. Charged with returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA's Artemis program.
(With NASA Inputs)