NASA sends the Perseverance rover to space on a one-way trip to Mars, just waiting for the next retrieval mission to return its collected precious samples to Earth.
The launch vehicle is the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket, which launched in Cape Canaveral at 7:50 a.m. ET. After months of waiting, the Perseverance rover is finally on its way to a rendezvous with Mars, according to CNN.
According to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the spacecraft has pinged their communication equipment at 9 a.m. ET. The spacecraft is now on an optimized trajectory to reach Mars.
Omar Baez of NASA's Launch Services Progra remarked that the craft is connected to the JPL's network in deep space. This will be the link to the rovers as it flies to Mars faster than any vehicle on Earth, as cited in ANI.
Jim Bridenstine, the Administrator of NASA claimed that it took time to link the signal to the Perseverance. Connecting the ground array to the Deep Space Network is always the hardest part.
Mark Wallace, deputy project manager at JPL added that the craft's telemetry is locked on, and flight information is forthcoming. It seems the second Mars rover has no problems and is working fine.
Communication with spacecraft is enabled by Deep Space Network, which can link to Earth at immense distances. The farther the probe or craft, the better reception when the signal redshifts at very great distances which ground array can detect.
A tweet from Bridenstine said the launch went without a hitch. The signal from @NASAPersevere is strong once the information from the rover is obtained. There will be a diagnostic procedure as the machine is in safe mode. As the craft moves into deeper space, it also gets colder.
The craft will be in transit for seven months before the Perseverance rover finally makes its landing on February 18, 2021. It will land in the Jezero Crater where it will be looking for clues for possible extraterrestrial life.
The newest rover is equipped with better AI that makes it a robotic detective looking clues of life, or if it ever existed in the Red Planet. Jezero Crater is thought to hold secrets under the soil and an ancient riverbed.
Onboard is the second processing unit or 'brain' to navigate the rover to hit the target landing spot. The Terrain Relative Navigation is an instrument that determines where the Rover will go to avoid obstacles. The machine will drive itself all over the place.
Perseverance will be like an inhuman rock-hound that will dig and look into the rocks, looking for any evidence of microbial life. During the mission, a collection of rocks and soil samples will be stored and returned on Earth on the next mission.
The schedule for the pick-up of the samples will be on 2031, this will be the most complex of missions when it rolls out. These samples will finally answer if any forms of life existed in the Red Planet.
The Rover will also be accompanied by the first drone copter for aerial surveillance and exploration, a first of human attempts. Someday this piece of tech might be part of most exploration missions.