It was difficult enough getting the Perseverance rover ready to leave Earth last year in the face of a global pandemic. Now the vehicle is about to confront perhaps its greatest challenge – that of landing on Mars. But “Perseverance” is more than just a name; it’s a battle cry, says Nasa’s head of science Dr Thomas Zurbuchen. He’s confident this spirit will lead the rover team to triumph this week.
Dr Zurbuchen has been speaking to our science correspondent Jonathan Amos. He explained how a successful landing would open up a decade-long effort to bring rock samples back from Mars to Earth.
Read more: Nasa’s Perseverance rover is bearing down on Mars