NASA’s remote-controlled robot Perseverance made its first Mars walk on Thursday, the US space agency said.
The rover traveled a total of 6.5 meters on Martian soil in a journey that lasted about 33 minutes, during which Perseverance advanced, turned in place and retreated. The rover drives at a maximum speed of 0.016 km / h.
“Our first trip went incredibly well,” said NASA’s Anaïs Zarifian, engineer of the Perseverance mobility test bench at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in a press conference.
“The rover’s six-wheel drive responded superbly. We are now convinced that our driving system is good, capable of taking us where science takes us in the next two years, ”said Zarifian.
Perseverance has the same chassis as NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012. But improvements to its mobility system allow it to cover greater distance in the same amount of time. While both rovers have the same top speed, Perseverance’s new cameras and improved navigation software allow it to account for obstacles in its path when in motion.
The Perseverance Mission Team also announced that it will christen the Perseverance Landing Site in Jezero Crater “Octavia E. Butler Landing” in honor of the famous science fiction author.
Butler was the first African American to win both the Hugo Prize and the Nebula Prize. She was also the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship.