The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, launched July 30 2020 and landed February 18 2021, is searching for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance NASA's quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars. Strapped to the rover's belly for the journey to Mars is a technology demonstration — the Mars Helicopter: Ingenuity (NASA n.d.)


NASA. n.d. “Mars 2020 Mission Overview.” Mars 2020 Mission Perseverance Rover. Accessed June 7, 2021.