Video: What has the ‘Perseverance’ rover been doing since it arrived on Mars?

In this explainer, EL PAÍS looks at the goals and future of the mission, which has the ambitious task of finding proof of past life on the red planet

A NASA illustration of ‘Perseverance.’

On February 18, 2021, the NASA rover Perseverance arrived on Mars, becoming the fifth rover the US space station has landed on the red planet. In this video, we look at what it has achieved in the first year of its mission. One of the most ambitious goals of Perseverance – a technological marvel that cost more than €2 billion ($2.27 billion) – is to find proof of past life on Mars.

In the past year, the rover has only traveled three kilometers as it collects soil samples in search of signs of past life. It is expected that in the 2030s, other missions will take these samples back to Earth to see whether they contain fossils or traces of life. We know today that 3.5 billion years ago, Mars was like Earth: it had oceans, rivers and lakes, meaning it also had the conditions for life to appear.

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