After a 203-day journey traveling over 293 million miles, the 2,260 pound, car-sized spacecraft touched down on Mars’ Jezero Crater on Februry 18, 2021. Since then, Perseverance has captured over 75,000 images and recorded its first sounds from the Red Planet, while also working in tandem with NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter.
The rover’s Twitter account commemorated the milestone with a tweet listing all of the spacecraft’s history-making accomplishments.
100 days (sols) on Mars, and feeling productive:
✅ Tested all cameras & instruments
✅ Returned 75,000+ pics
✅ Deployed #MarsHelicopter & captured its flights
✅ Recorded sounds of Mars
✅ Extracted oxygen from atmosphere
✅ Started south to first exploration zone
— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) June 1, 2021
Perseverance’s main task is to search for signs of ancient life and gather samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) to potentially bring back to Earth.
The rover is equipped with several instruments to aid in its mission, including an advanced camera system, called “Mastcam-Z,” a chemical composition analyzer, an environmental dynamics analyzer, a radar imager and a device intended to convert Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Perseverance has initial funding to search the Red Planet for one Mars year, equivalent to roughly two Earth years.
In addition to exploring Mars, NASA is sending new missions to Venus for the first time in 30 years.