Persevering Through Space Travel

A look at the Mars 2020 Mission and the rover that came from it.

An illustration of Perseverance on Mars.


An illustration of Perseverance on Mars.

Space: a vast, almost infinite expanse of darkness, speckled with stars, galaxies, and other unknown phenomena. The first man to step foot on the moon was Neil Armstrong in July of 1969. Now, almost 52 years later, many space expeditions have been done, and many more people and machinery have gone to space. 

Along with people, rovers have been sent to the moon and Mars. The latest rover to join the collection of space technology is Perseverance. This rover is the largest, most advanced rover NASA has ever sent to another planet. Originally called Mars 2020 (Mars 2020 now is the mission name), Perseverance got its current name from Alex Mather, a seventh grader in Virginia. The contest Mather entered was “Name That Rover,” and his name was selected by associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen. It’s mission, to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and geolith for their possible return to Earth.

Many new technologies have been developed and used in order for this mission to be successful and actually go into consideration, “In order to make Perseverance work, engineers and scientists at NASA have had to invent all kinds of new technologies. These include everything from the specialized collection tubes that were created to prevent contamination from Earth (which could be used in future medical applications where bacterial contamination could be a problem) to the complex landing system that it used to repel from its landing vehicle (could be used in military applications, package delivery, backcountry rescue, etc.),” JD science department chair Dr. Celestino says on the technology of the Mars 2020 mission.

On July 30th, 2020 NASA sent Perseverance into space while almost 8 million people watched from their devices. Seven months later, on February 18th, it landed on Mars. Since its touchdown, this spunky rover has collected over 10,000 pictures and 43 samples. 

This mission will surely bring new advancements in space travel and exploration. The samples that the rover has collected and will collect in the future may hold secrets to Mars that we may have never seen before. The rover could help scientists to develop more technology and machines that can do more and more for research, and can give more insight to how they work under certain conditions. 

This rover, all of those who work to better inform the world of what is outside our little floating ball of rock, and many more who prefer to be on the sidelines, are truly heroes of science.