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NASA’s endurance rover makes a 3-mile car ride over Mars to search for signs of life and dodges dunes as it goes


Endurance Mars rover stands side by side with NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter. NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

  • NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is set to travel three miles to search for signs of life.

  • Endurance will explore a crater and collect rock samples to be examined on Earth, NASA said.

  • Since landing in February, the rover has taken pictures and helped with the helicopter Ingenuity’s test flights.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

NASA’s endurance rover is taking a road trip across Mars to search for signs of life.

When NASA’s rover landed on the red planet on February 18, it has taken photos of the surface of Mars and supported the helicopter Ingenuity’s flight test. Now endurance begins its first scientific mission.

Endurance is set to explore the Jezero crater and cover a 1.5-square-kilometer patch of Martian surface over the next few months, said Jennifer Trosper, project manager for endurance at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a statement Wednesday.

“We put the rover’s commissioning phase as well as the landing site in our rearview mirror and hit the road,” she said.

annotated image of Mars' Jezero Crater depicts the route that NASA's endurance rover will take during its first science campaign

Commented briefly on the journey of endurance through Mars’ Jezero crater NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

“It is from this place that the first samples from another planet will be collected to return to Earth at a future mission,” Trosper added.

Endurance will help NASA understand the geology of the crater and explore the area for signs of ancient microscopic life, the agency said in the statement.

“This area was below 100 meters [328 feet] water 3.8 billion years ago, “said Kevin Hand, an astrobiologist and co-leader of Perseverance’s scientific mission.” We do not know what stories rocks and layered outcrops will tell us, but we are happy to get started. “

He said his team has noticed “potential obstacles” that endurance can come across, including dunes.

In its road trip, Perseverance will also measure and test the area in preparation for further exploration of humans and robots, NASA added.

Endurance, NASA’s fifth Mars rover, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in July and traveled nearly 300 million miles with ingenuity tied to its belly to reach the red planet.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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