Congratulations to all the scientists, engineers and others who helped accomplish yesterday’s milestone landing of the rover Perseverance on the surface of Mars.
The mission was timed for the closest alignment of Earth and Mars, but that still meant a trip of 300 million miles, or seven months of traveling – so far away that radio signals from Percy (the rover’s nickname) take nearly 12 minutes to reach Earth. It will spend the next two years drilling into the Martian surface to collect rock samples, which will be brought back by another rocket by 2031 to search for signs of bygone microscopic life. Let's hope that by that time, there are still signs of intelligent life on Earth.
Two other spacecraft, from the UAE and China, are also orbiting Mars. China also plans to send down a small rover to seek signs of life. And if it finds any, to immediately oppress it.