On July 30 2020, NASA launched the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter drone on a mission to explore Mars. During its mission, the Perseverance rover will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which could shed light on the past habitability of Mars. It will also pave the way for human exploration on Mars by testing oxygen production from the Martian atmosphere. The rover is set to touch down on Mars on February 18, 2021. As we all wait in anticipation of the Perseverance landing, get ready with these fun activities!
Explore the Perseverance Website
Recommended ages: 8+
NASA has compiled everything you need to know about the Perseverance rover on their website. Expand your knowledge by reading fun facts and mission updates, or exploring the Perseverance rover in 3D. Then, head to the Mars photo booth to create fun photos, or take a break by listening to the Sounds of Mars.
Learn about landing rovers with Mars in a Minute videos
Recommended ages: all ages
Learn key concepts about NASA’s missions to Mars in a series of short, animated videos. Here are some of our favorites:
Code a Mars helicopter video game
Recommended ages: 10+
Think like a NASA space-mission planner and code your own Mars helicopter video game! Using a visual programming language called Scratch, this tutorial demonstrates how to create a game that lets players explore the Red Planet.
Make and test your own paper parachute
Recommended ages: 7+
Upon its descent, the Perseverance rover must deploy a supersonic parachute from its aeroshell. This is one of many critical events that must take place in order for the rover to land safely. In this tutorial, you can learn to create and test your own paper parachute!
Finally, don’t forget to tune in to NASA’s live stream of the Perseverance landing starting at 1:15 pm CST on February 18, 2021. The broadcast, coming live from Mission Control, can be found on NASA’s YouTube channel.