New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: NASA’s next-generation Mars rover Perseverance in its Mars 2020 mission is going to leave an Indian footprint on the red planet as it lands at the Jezero crater on February 18, 2021, reports TOI.

The Indian contribution in this mission to Mars is made possible because of Bengaluru-born scientist Swati Mohan who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and has contributed significantly in designing and developing a new landing technology called Terrain Relative Navigation, which will make the touchdown less hazardous.

Perseverance rover mission which is on its way to seek potential signs of ancient life on the red planet is going to make the landing known as ‘Seven Minutes of Terror’ next year. The landing is described as a nerve-wracking moment for all those involved in the entry including Swati.

The Bangalore-born scientist in an interview to TOI said that through the New Terrain Relative Navigation system, Perseverance is going to be the first rover to land with open eyes.
“This is analogous to putting your hands out in front and stopping when you feel the ground. Previous missions have relied on the radar to land,” added the scientist.

While the rover will make an entry into the martian atmosphere from a whopping 12,000kmph, it is required for the speed of the Perseverance to be dropped at 0 just in the short span of 7 minutes in which several things in the rover will need to be working flawlessly in quick succession.

The Perseverance which was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on July 30 at 5.21 pm (IST) will seek out signs of past microscopic life on Mars and explore the diverse geology of its landing site, Jezero Crater, and demonstrate key technologies that will help us prepare for future robotic and human exploration.

Posted By: Simran Babbar