The six-wheeled rover travelled about 6.5 meters (21.3 ft) in 33 minutes on Thursday, NASA mentioned.
It drove 4 meters ahead, turned in place 150 levels to the left, after which backed up 2.5 meters, leaving tire tracks within the Martian mud.
“This was our first likelihood to ‘kick the tires’ and take Perseverance out for a spin,” mentioned Anais Zarifian, Perseverance mobility check mattress engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Zarifian mentioned the check drive went “extremely effectively” and represented a “big milestone for the mission and the mobility crew.”
“We’ll do some longer drives,” she added. “That is only the start.”
NASA engineers mentioned they have been learning potential routes for longer rover voyages on the floor of Mars.
A barely longer journey was deliberate for Friday, and maybe one other Saturday if all goes effectively, NASA mentioned.
The rover can cowl 200 meters per Martian day, which is barely longer than a day on Earth.
And it goes 5 occasions sooner than Curiosity, its predecessor, which continues to be functioning eight years after touchdown on Mars.
Perseverance deputy mission supervisor Robert Hogg mentioned engineers have been additionally getting ready for the primary flight of a helicopter drone carried by the rover.
Hogg mentioned the rover crew was understanding flight zones and hoped to conduct the primary flight in late spring or early summer season.
He mentioned the mission had not skilled any main issues to date.
“It is all simply minor stuff,” he mentioned. “All the things we have tried has labored fantastically.”
Perseverance was launched on July 30, 2020, and landed on the floor of Mars on February 18 on a mission to seek for indicators of previous life on the Pink Planet.
The rover’s main mission will final simply over two years however it’s more likely to stay operational effectively past that.
Over the approaching years, Perseverance will try to gather 30 rock and soil samples in sealed tubes to be despatched again to Earth someday within the 2030s for evaluation.
Concerning the dimension of an SUV, the craft weighs a ton, is provided with a seven-foot-long robotic arm, has 19 cameras, two microphones and a collection of cutting-edge devices.
To this point it has despatched again greater than 7,000 pictures, together with certainly one of a lightweight brown rock that was used to check a tool referred to as SuperCam: an ultra-sophisticated French-made digital camera the dimensions of a shoe field that may shoot a laser beam at rocks as much as seven meters away to investigate their make-up.
The rover is simply the fifth to set its wheels down on Mars, all of them American. The feat was first completed in 1997.
America is getting ready for an eventual human mission to the planet, although planning stays very preliminary.