. Read more at straitstimes.com.
The Mars rover Perseverance has successfully conducted its first test drive on the Red Planet.
The six-wheeled rover travelled about 6.5m in 33 minutes last Thursday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has said.
It drove 4m forward, turned in place 150 deg to the left, and then backed up 2.5m, leaving tyre tracks in the Martian dust, the US space agency said.
“This was our first chance to ‘kick the tyres’ and take Perseverance out for a spin,” said Ms Anais Zarifian, Perseverance mobility test bed engineer at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Nasa engineers said they were studying possible routes for longer rover voyages on the surface of Mars.
The rover can cover 200m per Martian day, which is slightly longer than a day on Earth. And it goes five times faster than Curiosity, its predecessor, which is still functioning eight years after landing on Mars.
“We’re going to do some longer drives,” said Ms Zarifian. “This is just the beginning.”