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Feeling In “Interstellar”: What Do We Know About The Robot That Landed On Mars?

You have probably seen the “Interstellar” movie by now. It is super famous and very interesting for addressing space and time dilation on other planets’ themes. In short, if you have not seen the movie, some astronauts are looking for other habitable planets because the Earth is constantly contaminated by pests and dust storms.

In the end, (spoiler alert), solutions are found for life on Earth to continue, but the TARS robot, the astronauts’ helper, is left on a planet in another dimension.

And here is a question: do you think robots on other planets are something far from our reality? The answer is no! A robot, thrown from Earth, recently posed in another celestial body. It is about this event that we will talk about.

Let’s get to know better about this robot.

The NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) made Perseverance robot departed from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 30, 2020 and landed on February 18, 2021 on Mars.

But why did Perseverance go there? Well, the robot contains the “Mars 2020” mission goal completing, which is to search for life’s trace on the planet.  Because the planet has Earth-like sediments, the scientists believe there were living organisms on Mars about 4 billion years ago, in a region called “Jezero Crater”. The mission will last about a year and, until then, Perseverance must explore the Martian soil to the maximum.

According to NASA, Percy – affectionate name for Perseverance – has a hole capable of piercing Martian soil so that samples are collected and left on the surface. Thus, another future mission could bring these specimens back to Earth to be studied.

The amazing robot design

Percy weighs just over a ton and it is a car’s size (you can see a picture here). The robot has very thick aluminum wheels, a heat shield made to withstand up to 1300ºC, two robotic arms for drilling into the Martian soil – the largest for storing samples in sterile tubes and the smallest for collecting smaller specimens.

It also has engineering cameras, a weather station, a leisure instrument and cameras to make colorful panoramas.

Percy and his friend

Along with Perseverance, NASA also launched to Mars an experimental helicopter called Ingenuity. Powered by solar energy, it aims to fly through the Martian atmosphere and explore the routes for its friend, the robot.

Just like in the Interstellar movie, will we discover life’s traces on another planet? To get that answer the only thing we can do is to wish Percy and Ingenuity a good trip – and a good sampling.

Here you can see a video when Perseverance landed on Mars, revealed by NASA and posted by CNBC Television.

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The article above was edited by Isabella Gomes.

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Amanda Paulilo

Casper Libero '24

Journalism student who seeks to improve her knowledge and write skills
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