On Feb. 18 2021, NASA’s Mars rover, namely perseverance, takes its final approach to the Red Planet. It is the ninth flight of NASA towards the red planet.
Mars Close Approach is recorded to be on Oct. 6, 2020, towards Earth
That is the point when Mars’ orbit when it comes closest to Earth, this time at about 62.07 million kilometres from our planet. Mars was visible for much of the night in the southern sky at about midnight.

Although, the main aim or technical reason behind going to the red planet is astrobiology. Including searching for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s whole geography and history. Paving the chance of human life and exploration on Mars and be the first agency to launch a mission to collect Martian rock and regolith.

This image shows the flight zone of NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter from the perspective of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover

“We expect the best places to look for any measurable phenomena indicating the presence of life would be in Jezero’s lakebed or in shoreline sediments. So that could be covered with carbonate minerals. They are especially good at preserving certain kinds of fossilized life on Earth,” said Ken Williford, deputy project scientist for the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission at JPL.

“But after that, as we search for evidence of ancient microbes on an ancient alien world, it’s important to keep an open mind.”
Also, In cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), subsequent NASA missions will send spacecraft to collect these sealed samples for much significant analysis.
Therefore, the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach. It includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.
The Mars 2020 mission is a part of a larger NASA initiative that includes assignments to the Moon to prepare for human life and much more of the Red Planet.

-by Palak Thakur

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