Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-28-2020


This research paper primarily focuses on the NASA Mars 2020 mission, but will also revisit and discuss past rover missions. As the Mars 2020 mission is ongoing, some information will be updated accordingly. For decades, humans have dreamed of the colonization of Mars for many reasons, such as some similarities shared by Earth and Mars or the close proximity to our planet. In fact, dozens of films, books, and articles have been written, especially in the past 2 decades, about the possibility. As technology advances, we develop newer equipment to hopefully make this possibility into a reality. Of course, placing a moving robotic vehicle on a satellite for research purposes is nothing new and we have done so in the past. However, it is clear that we have come a long way from the first rover we’ve placed on Mars, the Sojourner in 1997. As for the 2020 mission, the main components would include the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity Mars helicopter. The main objective of the Perseverance is to examine any possible traces of life or the possibility of life - with traces of past microbial life. It would also collect various samples that may prove helpful for future research if brought back to Earth. Compared to the Curiosity rover and its mission, there are many shared similarities, and the Perseverance (and its mission) could be said to be a “continuation” or “extension” of the Curiosity mission. For the Ingenuity, the task is relatively simple - to test the possibility of flight on another planet. Earth’s gravitational pull differs from Mars’, along with many other atmospheric differences, so if the flight of the Ingenuity proves to be successful, it could pave the way for future “travels” on Mars.


This work was originally presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, GSA Connects Online.



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