The Mars Perseverance Rover is roughly the size of an SUV, equipped with exploratory instruments and new oxygen-producing technology. (NASA image)

The Mars Perseverance Rover is roughly the size of an SUV, equipped with exploratory instruments and new oxygen-producing technology. (NASA image)

LIVE: You can watch NASA’s Rover landing on Mars today

NASA’s Perseverance rover is looking for signs of ancient life, and testing oxygen technology

The Mars Perseverance rover is landing on the Red Planet today, after travelling through space for over six months – and British Columbians can watch it happen live Thursday.

The rover will land in a crater identified as the place most likely to hold evidence of ancient life on Mars, at around 12:55 p.m. PST.

The Jezero Crater was a lake some 3.5 billion years ago, according to researchers. At its edge, scientists have identified a bathtub-ring-like structure they think will contain mineral deposits. NASA is calling the spot a “prime scientific hunting ground.”

The SUV-sized rover is equipped with an advanced camera system that will send images back to earth, and other instruments with names like PIXL and SHERLOC that will analyze chemical compositions, map mineral structures and measure atmosphere conditions.

Part of the Mars 2020 mission is scientific exploration for signs of ancient life, but the Perseverance is also testing new technology that could have major implications for future human exploration of Mars.

An instrument called MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) will try to make oxygen out of Martian carbon dioxide. If successful, it could be used by astronauts to burn rocket fuel to return to Earth.

February 2021 is rush hour on Mars – which is when its orbit is at the closest to Earth – making it the most efficient time to enter. The United Arab Emirates and China both have rovers ready to enter Martian atmosphere.

Watch the landing live here:

zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


Aviation and spaceNASA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sign at the entrance of a dike trail. (Laurens van Vliet/Contributed)
LETTER: Please be respectful to landowners adjacent to Agassiz dikes

Laurens van Vliet asks people on dikes to be respectful of the farms around them

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

Part of Kent’s diking system as it passes through private property off Tramner Road. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)
LETTER: Dikes and farms have a long history in Agassiz

Agassiz resident Barbara Key shares her history with dikes and farms in Agassiz

Books. (Unsplash)
LIBRARY: Who decides what makes a good book?

Agassiz librarian Sharie Hertzog shares what she thinks makes a good book in her latest column

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read