Nasa's Perseverance Rover Begins its Mission on MarsSociety | March 6, 2021, Saturday // 08:33| views
The US space agency's Perseverance rover has wiggled its wheels and undertaken its first Martian drive.
It didn't move far - just 6.5m in total.
But Nasa scientist believe it was a significant moment.
While the rover is still doing a lot of engineering checkouts, the minute 'the rubber' begins to move it should be considered as "explorer" on the surface of Mars.
It's two weeks now since the one-tonne robot made its dramatic descent to the Red Planet.
Engineers have spent the time commissioning the vehicle and its many complex systems, including its instruments and robotic arm.
Everyone, however, has been waiting for Perseverance to start rolling. It happened on Thursday. The robot went forward a short way, spun on the spot 150 degrees, and then backed up a bit.
Perseverance is fastest rover Nasa has ever put on Mars. This is not so much because of the rate at which the wheels can turn (about 5cm/s), but rather because of advances in autonomous navigation.
The robot takes pictures to assess the road ahead. Previous vehicles had to stop while these pictures were processed onboard. Perseverance can do this on the fly.
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