"With the safe landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover Thursday afternoon on the surface of Mars, two scientists at UNLV will get to take part in the ultimate in distance learning, as members of the NASA team hoping to answer the question, is there, or has there been life on the red planet.
The rover’s journey began last July when it was launched into the solar system from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Since then, planetary science associate professor Arya Udry and Libby Hausrath, an associate professor in astrobiology and geochemistry, have been preparing for Percy’s landing, to help NASA determine where the rover should go to gather the best information.
Eventually, Perseverance will work its way out of the landing site, Jezero Crater, which was once a vast delta where streams and rivers left deposits from a large swath of the Martian surface.
While Hausrath and Udry begin their work on samples taken and analyzed by the rover, NASA is preparing two more missions that will eventually be needed to bring some of those samples back to Earth.
The first of those missions is set for launch in 2026." (KSNV)