SAN ANTONIO – NASA has officially sent off its rover to Mars this morning from its launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The mission rover is named Perseverance and it’s the most robust rover to ever be sent to Mars.
Perseverance will travel 65 million miles for 6-7 months before it lands on the red planet. It will also have a sidekick, Ingenuity, a Mars helicopter. It will be the first helicopter to attempt to fly on another planet.
Scientists believe that ancient Mars was warmer and had rivers and oceans and potentially life.
It’s why it’s the rover’s job to collect evidence that shows there was once life on Mars.
NASA engineer Diana Trujillo explains what kind of evidence the rover is trying to find.
“It’s kind of like we are looking for fossils but not really,” Trujillo said. “You go back to where the minerals are, you go back to where the mud is and see if there is any bio signature at a very micro level. That shows you that there was water and if there was water there was carbons and other things that show you there was life at some point.”
Trujillo said that evidence will help test important technology for future human exploration.
“We are also having an instrument on Perseverance it’s the moxy instrument. Moxy is actually generating Oxygen on the surface of Mars,” Trujillo said. “If you think about that we are doing baby steps of what it takes to keep a human alive on the surface of Mars.”
Perseverance also has nearly 11 million names stenciled on it submitted from people all over the world.