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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 is Perseverance doing on Mars?

Perseverance is studying Mars' habitability, seeking signs of past microbial life, collecting and storing samples of selected rock and soil, and preparing 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 rides to Mars attached to the belly of the rover. The helicopter is a technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars.


Where did Perseverance land?

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

How did Perseverance land on Mars?

Perseverance followed an entry, descent, and landing (EDL) process similar to that used by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover when it landed in 2012. You can see an illustration of the process on the EDL section.


How can I follow Perseverance's journey on Mars?

You can track the spacecraft's journey on Mars on the surface operations page.You can track the rover’s path in this location map.

How long was the trip to Mars?

The trip to Mars took about seven months. Perseverance landed on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. For details on Perseverance's historic journey, visit the cruise section.

How did Perseverance aim toward the right landing spot?

A few trajectory, or flight path, corrections were needed. During the cruise phase, engineers had various opportunities to adjust the flight path. During these trajectory correction maneuvers, or TCMs, engineers calculated the spacecraft’s location and commanded eight thrusters on the cruise stage to fire for the specific amount of time needed to tweak the path. For more information, visit "Fine-Tuning the Flight Path to Mars."


When did Perseverance launch?

Perseverance launched on July 30, 2020 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 in Florida.


Where can I see Perseverance images?

You can browse the images in our Image Gallery. For the latest images from the rover, check out our Raw Images gallery.


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.


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-Gain Antenna to send data directly to Earth.


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).

Chip with Names

Where can I see a list of names being sent on Mars2020/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 is onboard the Perseverance rover.

Where can I see pictures of the chips aboard Mars 2020/Perseverance?

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. A wide shot view also contains the plate with the chips here.

See All “Send Your Name to Mars” FAQs

General Mars Questions

Other General Mars Questions

Try our "Ask NASA Mars" page and ask our friendly rover, ROV-E, a question. ROV-E can reply to more than 4,000 questions about the Red Planet and how we explore it with rovers, orbiters and landers.

Ask a Question at Home

If you have an Alexa device, call up the “NASA Mars” skill on your device and ask your question right from home.

Send Your Name to Mars

If you are one of the nearly 11 million people who sent their name aboard the Perseverance rover, your name is on Mars! We don’t publish a list of names. If you have a boarding pass, your name is on board. Reprint or download your boarding pass here. Or sign up to send your name on a future Mars mission. Have other questions about this opportunity? See the frequently asked questions about Send Your Name.

Student Homework Help

If you are a student and are looking for homework help, try this All About Mars page. Or see our Mars lessons and activities.

Sharing Messages or Drawings with Us

We’re thrilled your child (or student) is interested in Mars exploration and wants to share their idea or drawing! We don’t have an easy way to share those right now, so you could post an image of the drawing on social and tag it #CountdownToMars. The team at JPL just might see it that way!

Speaker Requests

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to accommodate requests for in-person speakers. To request a speaker for your event, complete and submit the online request form, preferably six to eight weeks before your event.

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