On February 18, 2021, NASA confirmed the successful landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars.

Within minutes, the robotic vehicle beamed its first high-resolution pictures of the surroundings, demonstrating readiness for the mission.

The landing was the conclusion of a 7 month-long journey. The rover took off from Earth onboard ULA Atlas V rocket on July 30, 2020, and covered over 471 million kilometers (293 million miles) before reaching the Red planet.

Perseverance carries an array of the most sophisticated research instruments yet, from oxygen generation experiment to spectrometer and radar to study the composition and structure of Martian surface. 

It is also designed to collect samples of Martian soil, to be gathered and delivered to Earth by the next Mars mission.

According to NASA, ingenuity – a small helicopter, carried by Perseverance – will perform its first flight within 30 days.

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Amongst many sophisticated instruments aboard the Perseverance, NASA’s latest Mars rover, there is a curious little box with four legs and four rotor blades attached. It is called Ingenuity, and it is a true-to-life chopper not unlike many flying above Earth’s skies right now.