NASA will launch its “Sween” Mars rover on July 30, heading to a region of Mars that was once a river delta 3.5 billion years ago to explore the remains of ancient microbes, Hong Kong’s Grand Gazette reported. The interstellar voyage is said to last six months.
Reported that the Mars rover is 3 meters long, weighing 1 ton, has 19 cameras, two microphones and a 2-meter-long robotic arm.
Its most important instruments are two laser lasers and an X-ray machine that analyzes the chemical composition of rocks and identifies possible organic compounds when they are projected onto the rock. Also on board is the 1.8-kilogram experimental mini-helicopter Wits, which NASA hopes will be the first to fly on another planet.
NASA has reportedly launched several Mars probes, including Explorer, Opportunity and Curiosity. Only Curiosity is still active, and other probes have remained on the surface of Mars due to mechanical failures or loss of connection to the ground.
Perseverance will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors to Mars, collecting and storing rock and soil samples for future retrieval. The Ship is scheduled to land at the Jezero crater on February 18 next year.