The “Presence” vehicle is launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V missile from the Cape Canaveral base in Florida, and is scheduled to reach Mars in February 2021, according to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”.
The spacecraft is to land on the Jerzo Crater area, which was believed to have been a lake site 3.5 billion years ago, if it successfully landed on Mars.
The spacecraft will search for any samples that indicate past microbial life, as well as collect rock samples in thin metal instruments that will be temporarily stored on Mars to be recovered in 2026 while returning to Earth.
The spacecraft will not make the trip alone, as it will be accompanied by an Ingenuity helicopter, and this is the first time in history that an air plane has flown on another planet.
Matt Wallace, deputy director of the project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said: “For the first time, we are looking for signs of life on another planet, and for the first time we will collect samples in the hope that they will be part of the first sample to come from another planet.”
It is reported that Viking 1 and Viking 2 were the first two spacecraft to land on Mars and landed in 1976 to search for signs of life.
Although a new vision was presented to the surface of Mars, they failed to reveal evidence of life.
Commenting on this, Kenneth Farley, a project scientist and professor at the California Institute of Technology said that Viking vehicles were not equipped with the best technology, and compared to what we know today, they had no advanced understanding of how to actually look for life.
And NASA had sent a number of shuttles to Mars; This allowed her to find the “Jerzo Crater” region, and it is said that the huge crater flowed with water and was filled with carbonates and aqueous silica.
The carbonates at the inner edge of the nozzle keep fossils alive on Earth for billions of years, and hydro silica is known to be able to preserve vital elements.