The most advanced rover NASA has sent to another planet touched down on Mars Thursday, February 18, 2021 after a 203 days en route. Confirmation of the successful touchdown was announced at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory mission control in Southern California at 3:55 p.m. EST. The Mars 2020 mission launched July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. NASA says the Perseverance rover mission marks the first step in their effort to collect Mars samples and return them to Earth.
“This landing is one of those pivotal moments for NASA, the United States, and space exploration globally – when we know we are on the cusp of discovery and sharpening our pencils, so to speak, to rewrite the textbooks,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission embodies our nation’s spirit of persevering even in the most challenging of situations, inspiring, and advancing science and exploration. The mission itself personifies the human ideal of persevering toward the future and will help us prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s.”