Library Blog

Mars 2021 Landing

Planet Mars Landscape
Spread the love

Have you been following the Mars exploration program?  Did you catch the launch from Cape Canaveral in July?  You will be able to catch the Mars landing on February 18 at 3:55 p.m. ET.  If you missed the lift off, you might not have realized the significance of this event.  Let’s discover what this is all about with some quick facts from NASA Science.   

The Mission name is Mars 2020.  The Rover name is PerseveranceWhat is the Rover, you ask?  NASA describes it as “the biggest, heaviest, cleanest and most sophisticated six-wheeled robotic geologist ever launched into space.”  Read more about it at https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-perseverance-rover-22-days-from-mars-landing  and https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nasa-mars-perseverance-rover-most-difficult-landing-red-planet/ 

According to NASA science, the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover is going to look for signs of ancient microbial life and collect samples of rock and soil for possible return to Earth.  NASA is trying to explore the possibility of life on Mars.  Samples of Martian rock and soil will be collected with the hope of return during another mission.  Bringing the materials back to earth would allow scientists to study the rocks and soil using equipment that would be too large to take to Mars. 

The landing site is Jezero Crater, Mars.  The mission will last at least one Mars year, which translates to about 687 earth days. 

NASA has announced that the Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, may achieve a “Wright Brothers moment by testing the first powered flight on the Red Planet. 

Beforehand, there are so many fun and educational ways to prepare for the landing.

Check out the links below for more information and fun activities!

From https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/, NASA provides some fun and fascinating activities to participate in this adventure.    

Download a PDF of the Mars 2020 sticker: https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/24997/mars-2020-sticker-english/  

Check out the Mars Ingenuity Helicopter 3-D model: https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/25043/mars-ingenuity-helicopter-3d-model/, and read more about it at mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/.

NASA lists five things to know about the helicopter.  One of the five fascinating facts is, it’s the first test of powered flight on another planet.  Check out the others at https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/#Five-Things 

You can even watch the official stream of NASA TV at https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive.  

Don’t let the landing be the end of your journey to Mars.  Visit the mission website at https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/surface-operations/.

Sally Freaney

Sally Freaney is the Grant Center Librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. In addition to her many years as the Grant Center librarian, Sally has enjoyed careers at both a nonprofit hospital and for Mahoning County government.

She enjoys showing nonprofits how to expertly use the Foundation Directory Online database, confidently navigate the proposal writing process and successfully use the nonprofit startup assessment tool.

A coffee lover, Sally enjoys reading a good mystery novel.