Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

Why is the rover called Perseverance?

A seventh-grade student, Alexander Mather, won a nationwide essay contest to name the rover.

Perseverance is the latest in a long line of Red Planet rovers to be named by school-age children, from Sojourner in 1997 to the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which landed on Mars in 2004, to Curiosity, which has been exploring Mars since 2012.

What will Perseverance do?

Perseverance will study Mars' habitability, seek signs of past microbial life, collect and store samples of selected rock and soil, and prepare for future human missions.

How long is the Mars 2020 mission?

At least one Mars year (about 687 Earth days).

How is the Mars 2020 mission different from other missions?

The Perseverance rover pioneers a drill that can collect core samples of the most promising rocks and soils, and set them aside in a "cache" on the surface of Mars. A future mission could potentially return these samples to Earth.

Is there a helicopter going to Mars on Perseverance?

Yes. The Mars helicopter will ride to Mars attached to the belly of the rover. The helicopter is a technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars.

Launch

When did Perseverance launch?

Perseverance launched on July 30 at 4:50 a.m. PDT / 7:50 a.m. EDT.

What launch vehicle did the spacecraft use?

Perseverance rode atop an Atlas V-541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Landing

How long is the trip to Mars?

The trip to Mars takes about seven months. Perseverance will land on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.

Where will Perseverance land?

The rover will land in Jezero Crater, an ancient river delta. Jezero has rocks and minerals that could only form in water.

Images

Where can I see Perseverance images?

You can browse the images in our Image Gallery.

News

Where can I get Perseverance news?

You can find the latest news releases in our News section. Facts sheets, media contacts, etc. are found in the Newsroom, and you can sign up for our Mars newsletter.

Science

How many instruments are on Perseverance?

Perseverance has seven instruments, two microphones and 23 cameras in total.

How will Perseverance communicate with Earth?

The rover has three Communications antennas. It primarily uses the High-Grain Antenna to send data directly to Earth.

Rover

What is the power source on the Perseverance rover?

A Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator provides electrical power to the rover. It converts heat from the natural radioactive decay of plutonium into electricity.

How much does Perseverance weigh?

The rover weighs 2,260 pounds (1,025 kilograms), less than a compact car.

How big is Perseverance?

Perseverance is about 10 feet long (not including the arm), 9 feet wide, and 7 feet tall (about 3 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall).

Where can I see a list of names being sent on Perseverance?

We do not publish the final list of names. See our most frequently asked questions about the Send Your Name to Mars campaign.

How do I know if my name is on Perseverance?

If you have a boarding pass, your name will fly to Mars when Perseverance launches to Mars.

Where on Perseverance are the chips with our names?

The three name chips are located on the “aft” crossbeam, on top of the rover deck. They are surrounded by artwork depicting Earth and Mars joined by the star that gives light to both.