Mars Rover Preparing for Return to Earth 

In February 2021, the rover Perseverance landed inside Mars’ Jezero Crater to search for signs of ancient life on the red planet and collect samples for future return to Earth.  

The car-sized rover has drilled out 14 Mars rock cores to date from seven target stones, said mission team member Jim Bell of Arizona State University. The lander, Mars rocket, and ESA orbiter are scheduled to launch in 2027-2028.  

Perseverance is in working order, but there’s a chance the rover won’t be doing so well when other hardware arrives on the Red Planet. 

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