Prior to the landing of the NASA Rover Perseverance on Mars, I attended a live NASA webinar, Mars Perseverance: Mission Overview & Countdown to Mars. A team of eight scientists led this webinar for students and teachers.

Justin Simon (a NASA scientist) talked about the planet Mars and about the rover Perseverance. He talked about the weather on Mars and what kind of planet it was. Simon also talked about the certain parts of the 2,260-pound rover and how they worked.

Perseverance succeeded in its mission to land safely on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. It will stay busy collecting Martian soil and rock samples.

Perseverance needed to land perfectly or there would be consequences. For example, there are rock walls that are 200 feet tall near the landing site that could cause major damage. There were also craters that Perseverance would not be able to get out of if it were to land in them. Lastly, there were dangerous rock fields that would not be good for landing locations.

Scientists hope to use the rock and soil samples to detect if there was every any life on the planet.

The Rover Perseverance was named by seventh-grader Alex Mather when he won an essay contest. An eleventh-grader named Vaneeza Rupani won a second essay contest to name the NASA helicopter, Ingenuity. The NASA webinar was interesting and informative! I look forward to attending more NASA webinars in the future.

Photo Credit: NASA

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