LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — NewsNation reporter Gene King stopped by NASA’s Jet Propulsion lab as the agency celebrated a successful rover launch years in the making.
“Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars ready to begin seeking the signs of past life.”
Cheers from Mission Control in Cape Canaveral, Florida as NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars Thursday afternoon were heard around the world.
Mission Control: “Perseverance is continuing to transmit…”
That transmittal included Perseverance’s first image from the surface of Mars.
“They’re a little dirty because we’ve got glass covers over these cameras. This happened just seconds ago – just arrived,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Chief Engineer Rob Manning explained.
Perseverance will collect geological samples to try and determine if life ever existed on the red planet. Those samples will eventually be brought back to Earth, although it will take about a decade. Once back on earth, they’ll be analyzed for signs of ancient microscopic life.
NASA’s Acting Administrator Steve Jurcyzk thanked his team shortly after the landing.
“To work through all the adversity and all the challenges that go with landing a rover on Mars. Plus the challenges of COVID – just an amazing accomplishment,” Jurcyzk said.
Perseverance’s mission alone costs nearly $3 billion. NASA is teaming up with the European Space Agency to bring the rock samples back home.
“This is a sign – NASA works. NASA works and when we put our arms, our hands and our brains together we can succeed. This is what NASA does. This is what we can do as a country on all of the problems we have – we need to work together to do these kinds of things and make success happen,” Manning added.