Touchdown: NASA's Perseverance rover ready to search for life on Mars

Washington (AFP) – After seven months in space, NASA’s Perseverance rover overcame a tense landing phase with a series of perfectly executed maneuvers to gently float down to the Martian soil Thursday and embark on its mission to search for signs of past life. “Touchdown confirmed,” said operations lead Swati Mohan at 3:55 pm Eastern Time (2055 GMT), as mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena erupted in cheers. The autonomously guided procedure was in fact completed more than 11 minutes earlier, the length of time it took for radio signals to return to Earth. Shortly af…

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