The team in charge of NASA’s Perseverance rover held a press conference in Pasadena, on Wednesday explaining their mission and prospects for Thursday’s scheduled landing on Mars.
According to NASA, during the landing, the rover will plunge through the planet’s thin atmosphere, with a heat shield, at a speed of about 20,000 kph (12,427 mph), before a parachute and powered descent slow the rover down to about 3.2 kph (1.9 mph).
Al Chen, Entry, Descent & Landing lead said, “the skies look very clear and good for landing tomorrow, but even with clearer skies, landing is the most dangerous and critical part of the mission, we just can’t guarantee success.”
However, Matt Wallace, Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Assembly, Test and Launch Operations (ATLO) Manager was confident of the rover’s abilities.
“I had the good fortune to work on all of those, and this one is really top of the food chain.
We’re carrying almost 50 percent more science and technology payload than Curiosity despite the similarities in the two vehicles.”