In December 2012, NASA announced a follow up to their Curiosity rover by 2020. They had planned to release a rover every two years but sadly due to a lack of government funding and budget cuts they could only afford to release one and cancelled a partnership with the European space agency. However, despite these issues they continued onwards with the design of Perseverance. The rover has the same base structure as Curiosity but had an entirely different scientific instruments designed to try and collect and find astro-biological samples amongst other cool things like get ground samples, scan for underground water in caves and a helicopter called Ingenuity to scout the best travel routes.
Perseverance was finally finished and sent out on the 30th of July last year from a airbase in Florida and started a seven month journey through space to reach mars, specifically Jezero Crater. This site was chosen due to the high likelihood of it being an ancient lake which would have been where life existed if it did on mars at any point. It landed successfully a few weeks ago on the 18th of February at 20:55 UTC (which is the same as the UK’s time zone). Since then it has collecting data, traveling around the drop sight and nothing has gone wrong so far. You can even watch a live stream of its position on Mars. But Perseverance is one of the most important and coolest things to happen for a while and the insight and knowledge it will give us about other planets and potentially life outside earth is just so interesting if you really stop and think about it. No doubt that this is the beginning of a new era of planetary exploration and trying to find our place in this large crazy universe
Either way, Perseverance is a marvel of modern mechanics, science and a sign of perseverance. Pushing the boundaries of what is possible and it truly is a great scientific step forwards and hopefully, the US government doesn’t axe NASA’s pay again so we can keep discovering the stars. If you think that the rover design is cool and you want to find more, you can explore it in 3D at this link https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/spacecraft/rover/