The Mars Perseverance Rover is roughly the size of an SUV, equipped with exploratory instruments and new oxygen-producing technology. (NASA image)

The Mars Perseverance Rover is roughly the size of an SUV, equipped with exploratory instruments and new oxygen-producing technology. (NASA image)

LIVE: You can watch NASA’s Rover landing on Mars today

NASA’s Perseverance rover is looking for signs of ancient life, and testing oxygen technology

The Mars Perseverance rover is landing on the Red Planet today, after travelling through space for over six months – and British Columbians can watch it happen live Thursday.

The rover will land in a crater identified as the place most likely to hold evidence of ancient life on Mars, at around 12:55 p.m. PST.

The Jezero Crater was a lake some 3.5 billion years ago, according to researchers. At its edge, scientists have identified a bathtub-ring-like structure they think will contain mineral deposits. NASA is calling the spot a “prime scientific hunting ground.”

The SUV-sized rover is equipped with an advanced camera system that will send images back to earth, and other instruments with names like PIXL and SHERLOC that will analyze chemical compositions, map mineral structures and measure atmosphere conditions.

Part of the Mars 2020 mission is scientific exploration for signs of ancient life, but the Perseverance is also testing new technology that could have major implications for future human exploration of Mars.

An instrument called MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) will try to make oxygen out of Martian carbon dioxide. If successful, it could be used by astronauts to burn rocket fuel to return to Earth.

February 2021 is rush hour on Mars – which is when its orbit is at the closest to Earth – making it the most efficient time to enter. The United Arab Emirates and China both have rovers ready to enter Martian atmosphere.

Watch the landing live here:

zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


Aviation and spaceNASA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland early last month

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

BC Ambulance Crews prepare to evacuate a sick Greenwood boy by helicopter on Friday, Feb. 26. Photo: Submitted
Greenwood boy taken to hospital by BC Ambulance helicopter

Greenwood volunteer firefighters helped prepare the chopper’s landing

Sylvain Fabi, Canada’s chief negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty, joined a number of government and Indigenous government stakeholders for a virtual town hall on Feb. 24, 2021, to update the state of the Columbia River Treaty negotiations. Trevor Crawley photo/Zoom screenshot
Indigenous input key to Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Ecosystem function included in negotiations along with flood management and power generation priorities

Thursday, Feb. 4: RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk hoists a banner commemorating last year’s championship season by the Bantam House Bruins. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Bantam Bruins honoured at hair-raising banner ceremony at Grand Forks’ Jack Goddard Arena

Asst. coach Mike Tollis said he reluctantly gave in to the team’s victory wish that he cut his pony tale

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that's supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

The area shaded in yellow was purchased last year by the Regional District of Central Kootenay. The purple area is the current purchase. Map: Submitted
Cottonwood Lake fundraiser reaches goal

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read