Washington: NASA`s Perseverance rover took its first drive on Mars and covered 21.3 feet (6.5 meters) across the landscape on the Red Planet.
The drive performed on March 4, served as a mobility test that marks just one of many milestones as team members check out and calibrate every system, subsystem, and instrument on Perseverance, an official statement by US Space agency said.
Perseverance Rover shared the photo on its official Twitter handle and wrote this.
I’m on the move! Just took my first test drive on Mars, covering about 16 feet (5 meters). You’re looking at the very beginning of my wheel tracks. Many more to make. pic.twitter.com/7tFIwWFfJ4
— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 5, 2021
According to the statement: “Once the rover begins pursuing its science goals, regular commutes extending 656 feet (200 meters) or more are expected.”
The drive, which lasted about 33 minutes, propelled the rover forward 13 feet (4 meters), where it then turned in place 150 degrees to the left and backed up 8 feet (2.5 meters) into its new temporary parking space.
The rover`s mobility system is not the only thing getting a test drive during this period of initial checkouts. On February 16, mission controllers completed a software update, replacing the computer program that helped land Perseverance with one they will rely on to investigate the planet.
While Another significant milestone occurred on March 2 when engineers unstowed the rover`s 7-foot-long (2-meter-long) robotic arm for the first time, flexing each of its five joints over the course of two hours.
The Perseverance rover is on a mission to search for signs of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet.