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

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Chemainus teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Laketown Ranch to welcome campers this summer

Sunfest site will provide camping amenities between May and September

‘I chose my children’s breakfasts purely based on what dishes would fit best into the dishwasher.’ (Bobbi Venier photo)
Sarah Simpson Column: Delayed gratification and the benefits of efficiency

I was driving with just my daughter the other day and we… Continue reading

The frequent disruptions to water service in Chemainus are expected to be a lot less after North Cowichan replaces the Smiley Road water main. (File photo)
Smiley Road water main in Chemainus to be replaced

$890,000 project expected to be completed this spring

Cowichan Tribes open up vaccinations for members who are 40 and older. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes opens up vaccinations for members 18 and older

Vaccination sessions to be held over weekend

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

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

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read