Perseverance is a semi-autonomous rover the size of a small car designed to explore the surface of Mars. It carries cameras and scientific equipment to search for evidence of past microbial life. The rover landed on Mars on 18 February 2021.
Did you know?
Perseverance's nickname is Percy.
After the success of the Curiosity rover, NASA decided to send a second large rover to Mars. While Perseverance looks much like Curiosity in its overall design, NASA learned many important lessons from Curiosity's years on Mars. Perseverance includes more durable wheels, a bigger and stronger robotic arm, more cameras, and improved autonomous capabilities, which will allow it to do more driving without as much reliance on instructions from Earth. Jezero Crater was selected as a landing site for the rover, because the ancient crater used to be full of water, with rivers flowing in and out of it. The goal was for Perseverance to explore the ancient lake bed and river deltas, collecting samples of dirt and rock which it will store in tubes to one day be retrieved by a different robot and brought back to Earth. Perseverance successfully landed on Mars on February 19, 2021. It brought along, tucked under its belly, a small autonomous helicopter called Ingenuity, which in April 2021 successfully completed the first of what would be more than 50 flights. Perseverance and Ingenuity are currently exploring the Martian environment, having already sent more than 400,000 images back to Earth.