NASA’s Perseverance Rover is Setting Records on Mars

This image mosaic shows Perseverance's tracks as it made its way through a boulder field called "Snowdrift Peak." The rover's advanced autonomous navigation system guided the machine through the hazardous area in record time. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Perseverance Rover has been exploring Mars for more than 900 sols. It’s the most scientifically advanced rover ever built and has opened our eyes wider to Mars and the possibility that it hosted life. The rover’s crowning achievement is preparing samples for eventual return to Earth, an important next step in understanding Mars.

But it can’t do any of its work without moving effectively and efficiently on the Martian surface. And in this regard, Perseverance and its autopilot are setting some serious records.

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Perseverance’s Software Lets it Move Swiftly Across the Surface of Mars

Mars rovers are not known for being particularly speedy.  Spirit and Opportunity managed a max speed of a whopping 5 cm per second, while Curiosity clocked in at a max speed of .1 kph.  Over their long mission times, even those speeds opened up many potential areas to explore. But Perseverance is leaving them in the dust as it makes its way up to a river delta where it will begin its next round of sample collection.

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