The NASA Perseverance rover, launched in 2020, successfully landed on Mars after completing a journey of 292.5 million-mile from Earth. The touchdown was ‘flawless’ and the rover immediately sent back first images of the landing site, in which the shadow of the rover over the surface of its landing site of Jezero Crater was apparent.
The acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said, “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.”
“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.”
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, also said, “Because of today’s exciting events, the first pristine samples from carefully documented locations on another planet are another step closer to being returned to Earth.”