How the Mars landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover will work: A step-by-step guide

NASA’s next Mars rover is slated to touch down on the Red Planet on Thursday (Feb. 18) in a crucial “seven minutes of terror” sequence that requires a careful and precise entry, descent and landing (EDL). 

The Mars 2020 mission, including the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, launched on July 30, 2020. It will attempt to land inside the 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater after spending roughly six-and-a-half months traveling toward the Red Planet. The rover will hunt for signs of past microbial life and possible habitable environments on Mars while collecting samples that can be returned to Earth by a future mission campaign.

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