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Nasa mission control erupts as Perseverance rover successfully lands on Mars


 Nasa’s science rover Perseverance, the most advanced astrobiology laboratory ever sent to another world, streaked through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday and landed safely on the floor of a vast crater, its first stop on a search for traces of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet.

Mission managers at Nasa’s jet propulsion laboratory near Los Angeles burst into applause and cheers as radio signals confirmed that the six-wheeled rover had survived its perilous descent and arrived within its target zone inside the Jezero crater, site of a long-vanished Martian lake bed.

This NASA photo shows members of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover team watching in mission control as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, on February 18, 2021, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
 This NASA photo shows members of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover team watching in mission control as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, on February 18, 2021, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Photograph: Bill Ingalls/NASA/AFP/Getty Images
The robotic vehicle sailed through space for nearly seven months, covering 293m miles (472m km) before piercing the Martian atmosphere at 12,000mph (19,000km/h) to begin its approach to touchdown on the planet’s surface.

The spacecraft’s self-guided descent and landing during a complex series of maneuvers that Nasa dubbed “the seven minutes of terror” stand as the most elaborate and challenging feat in the annals of robotic spaceflight.

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