Mars Perseverance Rover Completes Test Drive, Covers 21 Feet, NASA Says


WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Mars Perseverance Rover completed its first test drive on the Red Planet, a 21 feet mobility trial, NASA said.

“This was our first chance to ‘kick the tires’ and take Perseverance out for a spin. The rover’s six-wheel drive responded superbly. We are now confident our drive system is good to go, capable of taking us wherever the science leads us over the next two years,” rover mobility engineer Anais Zarifian said in a NASA press release on Friday.

Before and during the drive, Perseverance continued to transmit pictures from its 24 cameras, about 7,000 images since its February 18 landing, the release also said.

Controllers have since checked out the rover’s ground penetrating radar, deployed two wind sensors and unstowed the rover’s 7-foot-long robotic arm, the release added.

The rover will search for evidence of ancient microbial life, collect rocks to be returned to Earth and explore the Red Planets’ geology and climate to help pave the way for human missions, according to the release.


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