Mankind’s tryst with Mars in July 2020

It’s the monsoon season as the dark clouds with loads of rainy water surge upon northern India while you feel lounging in the living room with relief from the sweltering heat of past days. About thousands of miles away, on the west coast of the Atlantic, NASA is preparing to take on a journey down the space-miles to Mars as Mars nears to the earth in its orbit.

Perseverance as the Space vehicle is called will set out on a mission to study the planet Mars on 30th July. Perseverance will collect rock and soil samples of Martian surface in a bid to study the origins of life in the solar system, and the mission will try to lift the mystery from the impending question of whether there was life anywhere else in the solar system, besides the earth.

To know who we are and from where we have descended on the earth, it is worthwhile taking a trip to Mars. The landing site chosen by NASA called Jezero Crater speaks volume about the possibility of getting firsthand samples of the Martian rocks and soil, as the crater is thought to have fanned water in the distant past of Martian life.

Essentially we have here a launch vehicle that will carry the spacecraft outside of the earth’s gravitational pull, which in turn will fly to the Mars, and upon entering the Martian gravitational pull, the spacecraft will land the rover Perseverance on to the Martian surface.

The mission could be seen as a step in the direction of colonizing the space around us. There are lots of minerals and resources on Mars which could be used when the resources on the earth dwindle. We should be using the carbon imprints to safeguard the environment, and rightly so Mars is the right candidate to begin dating carbon.

The rover size is crucial to its design that should be able to withhold the weak atmospheric pressure and lower gravity than the earth. The rover is about 10 feet long (not including the arm), 9 feet wide, and 7 feet tall (about 3 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall). But at 2,260 pounds (1,025 kilograms), Perseverance is about 278 pounds (126 kilograms).

As pointed out by the earlier Curiosity rover, the martian atmosphere contains methane gas which happens to flow from living things. The Severance mission will continue its probe where Curiosity left. It would be interesting to see if the rover could find the microbial life of which mankind is waiting to hear in affirmative.

It would be a consolation for NASA team who beat the Covid-19 pandemic in preparing the launch on schedule. It is hoped the mankind will have something to cheer about, as comes this July end.