Following its recent successful launch of the spacecraft, NASA’s Perseverance rover is on its way to Mars, a journey that will take several months. All will be quiet during this time, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for more information. NASA has launched a free online tool that enables anyone to monitor the rover’s journey in real-time, read information about the journey, and see which celestial body the spacecraft is closest to at any given moment.
The NASA Perseverance rover, formerly known as the Mars 2020 rover, will arrive on Mars in February 2021, kicking off the latest mission to explore the Red Planet. The rover has a small helicopter strapped to its belly, one that recently successfully charged its batteries using the rover’s own power system.
Using this new NASA tool, anyone can see the rover on its journey, nearby objects like the 81p Wild 2 comet, and the paths these various space bodies are taking. Clicking through an object will enable viewers to get additional information on each satellite, comet, planet, and moon.
In addition to the direct view of the rover, users can also zoom out to view the wider region around the rover, including the orbit of each nearby planet and comet. Of course, this is all a visualization — you can’t actually see the rover itself in real-time, only its journey and its digital representation from NASA’s team.
Experts will be monitoring the rover during its trip using the space agency’s more advanced technologies, ensuring nothing goes wrong with the rover’s health. The teams will perform various corrections when necessary to keep the rover on its correct route, and they’ll perform other various activities for different purposes, according to NASA.