This afternoon the spacecraft named perseverance begins its final fiery descent traveling at 12 000 miles per hour as it breaks through the thin martian atmosphere, deploying the biggest supersonic parachutes ever made. Then using new imaging technology. It will guide itself towards the martian landing zone where a sky crane will gently lower the rover to the ground. There are many things that have to go right to get perseverance onto the ground safely. The target an area called the jezreel crater right there, a dry lake bed about the size of lake tahoe, three to four billion years old selected, because buried in the delta may be the best evidence of ancient microbial life. Did that ancient life adapt as life on earth has, and is it somewhere underneath the surface hiding from the radiation, hiding from the stark low pressure of mars atmosphere to find out nasa has sent perseverance, its most sophisticated rover yet loaded down with microphones? So humans can listen to the martian surface cameras, imagers, radar, spectrometers and drills perseverance will drill into the martian rock and soil collecting samples in dozens of sterile tubes to be brought back to earth in 10 years or so helping to plot the rover’s, precise location and Coordinate its live data feeds engineer, farah alabay, i always say to people i’m an explorer through the eyes of a rover right like from my home in the comfort of southern california weather i get to be on mars every day.

One of the coolest features of the mission, a four pound mini helicopter, a drone really named ingenuity that will take off and skim the martian surface, photographing the terrain, but flying in an atmosphere that’s. Only one percent of earth’s atmosphere engineers had to develop a special twin rotor system that could provide the necessary lift pilot. Mimi ong calls it a wright brothers moment for mars. It really will be phenomenal. Is it technical, uh, technically a you know, first time event, but definitely for human beings, a historical moment because we’re going to fly on another planet and to pave the way for future human missions to mars. The rover is carrying a science experiment to turn the carbon dioxide in the martian atmosphere into breathable oxygen and for making liquid oxygen that could be used as rocket fuel to return to earth. How soon? What is your realistic expectation on when people may be able to actually land on mars, we’re cautiously optimistic that by the end of the 2030s, we may be able to send and get do a round trip mission with astronauts? You know what i love is all their enthusiasm. These guys love their jobs, but to pick up on his point, that means probably astronauts will not be on mars for another 20 years at the soonest first, they need to return to the moon and build operations there, and the acting nasa chief tells me a lunar Mission, probably will not happen in 2024 as first hole, savannah and tom.

I i caught this little detail. Some of the engineers are going to work this marsh mission, they’re going to switch over to living on martian time, which raises a question. What is martian time yeah? So the mars day has an extra 40 minutes in it. So if you live on mars time to make sure that you’re awake during the daylight hours so that you’re up and watching the rover when it’s running you quickly get jet lagged right, add another 40 minutes to your day every single day yeah. So they do this. For a few months, at a time, many are working at home. Some are going to be at nasa’s jpl in pasadena, they’ll have cots in their offices working these 12 and 14 hour shifts, and they quickly get out of sorts, and just one follow up. When is cocktail hour on mars, whenever thank you very much how cool that’s the coolest we know, dylan loves it yeah our science gal. Yes, i love it today. Minus 80 degrees fahrenheit. Is that right, you think it’s a warm planet. It feels like yeah, it’s, red it’s, warm but it’s, actually very, very cold.