Pasadena, CA (February 18, 2021) — The Planetary Society, the world’s largest independent space interest organization, issued the following statements on the successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover:
The Planetary Society congratulates NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the thousands of engineers and scientists across the world whose countless hours of work made today a resounding success.
The Perseverance rover, launched and landed during a global pandemic, earned its name. It inspired and captured the imagination of the world, proving once again that space brings out the best in us.
We look forward to following the great journey of exploration that now lies ahead.
To maximize the science returned by this mission, we need to ensure that the samples collected by this rover are returned to Earth. The Planetary Society strongly supports the joint NASA/ESA Mars Sample Return effort now underway, and urges elected officials to fully fund the project in the coming years.
Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society, added:
Along with needing to overcome the usual technical challenge of getting a spacecraft to another world, NASA’s engineers, technicians, and scientists had to deal with a pandemic. I am inspired by today. They did it! They persevered—and people around the world will soon share in remarkable discoveries on Mars.
Planetary Society Resource Guides
How Mars Sample Return works (Infographic free for media use)
Planetary Society Statements Supporting Mars Sample Return
Audio interviews - with full transcripts:
How Perseverance will Search for Life on Mars, with Kenneth Williford - Perseverance deputy project scientist and director of the Jet Propulsion Lab’s astrobiogeochemistry lab
7 More Minutes of Terror: Perseverance Arrives at Mars, with Gregory Villar - Entry, Descent and Landing system engineer for NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
What Do You Need to Make Martian Oxygen? MOXIE!, with Michael Hecht - MOXIE Principal Investigator and Associate Director of MIT’s Haystack Observatory
Another Ray Gun Heads for Mars. We Hear It Working., with Roger Wiens - SuperCam Principal Investigator for Los Alamos National Laboratory
About The Planetary Society
With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit www.planetary.org.