CHICAGO – For the first time in the history of the Space program, a powered areal device will land with the latest Mars Rover, Perseverance this afternoon.
Perseverance, named in a nationwide K-12 student contest that attracted over 28,000 proposals, will attempt to make a landing in Jezero Crater. The Crater is considered by scientists to be the most tempting spot to find signs of ancient life, once flooded and home to an ancient river delta.
Safely secure under Perseverance is the small helicopter named Ingenuity. Ingenuity is roughly the size of a box of tissues and will become the first-ever powered areal device on an alien planet.
“Its primary goal is just to see if we can fly on Mars — prove that the technology works.” Josh Ravich, Ingenuity’s mechanical engineering lead at JPL told Space.com. The deployment of the device will take over a week to complete with the earliest flight not expected to launch before March 1st.
You can watch the Mars landing live here beginning at 2:15 p.m. EST (1915 GMT). The landing is expected at 3:55 p.m. EST (2055 GMT).