The United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that its Perseverance rover has successfully landed on the surface of the Mars. The rover, surviving a blazing seven-minute plunge through the atmosphere, has covered 293 million miles in 203 days.
Indian-American Dr Swati Mohan is among the scientists who are the part of the historic mission that spearheaded the development of 'attitude control' and the landing system for the rover.The autonomously guided procedure was completed more than 11 minutes earlier, equal to the timing that takes radio signals to return to Earth. "Touchdown confirmed," said the operations lead Swati at around 3:55 pm Eastern Time (2055 GMT), as mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena erupted in cheers.
NASA Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen also tweeted on the victory and wrote, "WOW!!" with Perseverance's first black and white image from the Jezero Crater in Mars' northern hemisphere. Expressing pride over its country's achivement, the US President Joe Biden hailed Perseverance's "historic" landing.
"Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility," he tweeted. Perseverance will attempt to gather 30 rock and soil samples in sealed tubes, to be eventually sent back to Earth sometime in the 2030s for lab analysis.
About the size of an SUV, it weighs a ton, is equipped with a seven foot (two meter) long robotic arm, has 19 cameras, two microphones, and a suite of cutting-edge instruments to assist in its scientific goals.