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Biden praises NASA for providing a “dose of trust” to the United States.

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Biden praises NASA for providing a "dose of trust" to the United States.

 

President Joe Biden praised the NASA team for successfully landing a six-wheeled rover on Mars last month, saying it gave the country a “dose of trust” at a time when the country’s image as a science leader had been tarnished by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a video conference call with the leadership of the space agency’s jet propulsion laboratory unit, Biden shared his awe at Perseverance’s landing on February 18.

Perseverance, NASA’s largest and most advanced rover, became the ninth spacecraft to successfully land on Mars since the 1970s, moving 300 million miles in nearly seven months as part of an ongoing mission to determine if the planet once supported life.

Biden told the NASA team, “It’s so much bigger than landing Perseverance on Mars.” “It’s about the American spirit,” says the speaker. And you returned it.”

Last month, Biden watched Perseverance land on Mars on television and called NASA’s Acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk to express his congratulations to the Perseverance team. Biden, on the other hand, said he wanted to talk directly to the squad, which he said deserved praise not only for the incredible accomplishment, but also for improving the US’s prestige at a time when it was desperately needed.

He remembered that a representative from another country recently told him that the United States’ reputation had been tarnished by its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Biden, who has made stopping a pandemic that has killed nearly 520,000 Americans his top priority, said the Mars landing provided the country with some much-needed inspiration.

Biden said, “We can land a rover on Mars, we can beat a pandemic.” “So there isn’t a darn thing we can’t do as a country with science, hope, and vision.”

The Perseverance landing takes place in the midst of a recent race to Mars between competing space programs.

The landing of the NASA team on Mars on February 18 marked the third mission to the Red Planet in less than a week. Earlier this month, two spacecraft from the United Arab Emirates and China swung into orbit around Mars on consecutive days. Both three missions launched in July to take advantage of Earth’s and Mars’ near proximity.

The plutonium-powered vehicle, the size of a car, arrived at Jezero Crater and hit NASA’s tiniest and most difficult objective yet: a 5-by-4-mile strip on an ancient river delta dotted with pits, cliffs, and rocks. Scientists assume that if life existed on Mars, it would have flourished 3 billion to 4 billion years ago, when the planet’s water supply was still flowing.

Over the next two years, the rover, dubbed Percy, will drill down and collect rock samples containing potential signs of bygone microscopic existence with its 7-foot (2-meter) arm.

Three to four dozen chalk-size samples would be enclosed in tubes and set aside to be collected by another rover and transported back to Earth by a rocket ship.

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