Why NASA’s Perserverance Rover landing on Mars Matters to Africans

Prepare Mars for the landing and then, habitation by humans. No suprises as to who wants to colonise the planet By Professor Arthur Mutambara The US NASA Perseverance Rover safely landed on Mars on February 18, after a 470.7 kilometre-journey from Earth. The robotic vehicle landed itself flawlessly in Mars’s Jezero Crater. What are the scientific objectives: 1) Search for, and identify, a past capable of microbial life – in other words – investigate the habitability of Mars. 2) Look for signs of current microbial life (biosignatures) in the places where the history of life is detected. 3) Note the distinction between microbial life and intelligent life (human-like life). The expectation (or assumption) is that there is no intelligent life elsewhere in the universe except on Earth. Of course, this is our shared human arrogance as a species. 4) Collect rock and soil samples, analyse them on site and bring some to Earth for further studies about Mars’s mineralisation, geography, habitability etc. No surprises on who will own the minerals if they are discovered! 5) Prepare Mars for the landing and then, habitation by humans.

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