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25 years have passed since NASA's first rover landed on the red planet

BingMag.com 25 <b>years</b> <b>have</b> <b>passed</b> <b>since</b> <b>NASA's</b> <b>first</b> <b>rover</b> <b>landed</b> on the <b>red</b> planet

25 years ago on July 4th, it was America's Independence Day when NASA's Sojourner, a small rover named after an abolitionist of the country's Civil War, with an umbrella He was rescued and reached the surface of the red planet with the help of an air bag.

The first NASA rover named "Sojourner" landed on July 4, 1997 (13 July 1376) in "Chryse Planitia" over The lander "Pathfinder" sat on the surface of Mars. This successful landing caused a revolution in Mars exploration technology that continues to this day, a quarter of a century later, by the active curiosity and perseverance of NASA's Mars Rovers. 12-year-old Valerie Ambroise, whose winning essay played the important role of Sojourner Truth, aka Isabella Van Wagener, was nominated.

The Sojourner rover worked on Mars for nearly four months, 12 times its design life, which included landing on rocks, analyzing their chemistry, and transmitting their observations to Earth. The beginning of that era was broadcast, revealing a red planet that could potentially be host to life. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which manages the rover, said at the time: "The resulting scientific findings show that Mars was hot and humid in the past, with liquid water and a thicker atmosphere."

BingMag.com 25 <b>years</b> <b>have</b> <b>passed</b> <b>since</b> <b>NASA's</b> <b>first</b> <b>rover</b> <b>landed</b> on the <b>red</b> planet

Comparison of three generations of NASA Mars rovers in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; The Sojourner twin model is seen in front, the Spirit and Opportunity rovers twins that reached Mars in 2004 are on the left, and the Curiosity rover model that landed on the surface of Mars in 2012 is on the right.
Credit : NASA/JPL-Caltech

These rovers are part of several generations of landers, orbiters and other vehicles that will explore the red planet to understand its complex history. Things like why the atmosphere of Mars thinned, how much water flowed on the surface and whether there were habitable conditions or not, are questions that still preoccupy scientists. On the occasion of this anniversary, Tir wrote on Twitter: "Twenty-five years ago on this day, a true pioneer landed. Sojourner proved we can drive on Mars. Every rover since then has made thorough explorations of the surface. I am the fifth person on this path, collecting samples that can one day return to Earth and rewrite history.

The mission also served as a beacon in bringing people together. Today's rover teams use tweets, TikTok, and live streaming events to announce new discoveries on Mars.

The Internet in 1997 soon saw the constant uploading of images to the Pathfinder website, which still retains its vintage design. has it. Initially, NASA thought it would have 25 million downloads of the images after the landing. But the agency noted in 2017 that it soon updated this estimate to triple. The traffic load was such that this agency was forced to activate other servers to prevent the Jet Propulsion Laboratory website from crashing, and finally all these efforts worked. It lasted and even in the movie "Martian" (Martian), which was made in 2015 based on a novel by "Andy Weir", this history-making is mentioned as an important turning point. This film is about an astronaut who, after getting lost, goes to the red planet alone.

This mission sent its last images on September 27, 1997 (October 5, 2016), and thus Mars Voyager and Sojourner They rest forever on the surface of Mars, but their data will remain forever. NASA still has 16,500 images from the Mars rover and 550 images from Sojourner that scientists today can analyze to gain new insights into the history of the red Planet.

  • What have the rovers found on the red planet so far?

Cover photo: Sojourner rover on the Mars rover lander moments after landing on the red Planet
Credit: NASA

Source: Space

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