Rabat – American Space Agency NASA is set to launch its ‘Mars 2020’ mission to the planet of Mars Today, July 30. Moroccan scientist Kamal Oudghiri will join the NASA team.
NASA’s mission aims to prove whether there is life on Mars.
To explore the fields of Mars, NASA will deploy the ‘Perseverance’ rover, and helicopter ‘Ingenuity’ to help the rover scout for locations to study.
Kamal Oudghiri told Moroccan state media that he will be on hand to support the launch as he has done on previous projects.
The first Moroccan to work with NASA, Oudghiri recently led a breakthrough in quantum physics by studying the smallest atoms in the coldest environment possible, which is the Cold Atom Lab on the International Space Station (ISS).
Kamal Oudghiri has been working for NASA for over 20 years, and took part in a set of missions with Mars exploration vehicles, including “Curiosity,” “Rovers,” “Spirit,” and “Opportunity,” as well as “Cassini” for Saturn, “Grail” for the moon, and “Juno” for Jupiter.
The mission’s plan is to land the ‘Perseverance’ rover on Mars to explore a crater named “Jazero Crater,” which scientists believe hosted an ancient lake, with inflow and outflow channels.
Commenting on the inflow channel Nasa detected, ‘Perseverance’ project scientist Ken Farley said “It is a wonderful place to live for microorganisms, and it is a wonderful place for those microorganisms to be preserved, so we can find them now, so many billions of years later.”
“Perseverance” is equipped with seven scientific instruments, 23 cameras, and two microphones.
The rover will collect samples and store them in small tubes, which the machine will send to earth on a journey that could last for years. Scientists are hoping to receive the samples by 2031.
“Perseverance is a very profound first step in both our understanding of our place in the universe and a stepping stone towards human exploration on Mars,” said NASA.