The Mars Rover landing site is named after science fiction legend Octavia Butler

Perseverance's landing site on Mars is now called Octavia E. Butler Landing.

Perseverance’s landing site on Mars is now called Octavia E. Butler Landing.
Picture: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

That magical place in Jezero Crater where NASA’s Perseverance rover made its historic landing last month has been named “Octavia E. Butler Landing” after the late science fiction author.

“I can’t think of a better person to mark this historic landing site than Octavia E. Butler, who not only grew up alongside JPL [NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory] in Pasadena, but he also inspired millions with his visions for a science-based future, ”said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, in a NASA rlift up.

In fact, NASA got it right with this one, as Butler is a worthy choice for such a prestigious honor.

Butler, who died in 2006 at the age of 58, was the first African American woman to win the Hugo Y Nebula awards and the first science fiction writer to be honored with a MacArthur Scholarship. The acclaimed author is known for works such as the Xenogenesis trilogy and the Parable Y Pattern maker series, in which he criticizes the hierarchical and prejudicial tendencies of humanity, especially those based on race, sex and class.

“Butler’s protagonists embody determination and inventiveness, making her the perfect fit for the Perseverance rover mission and its theme of overcoming challenges,” explained Kathryn Stack Morgan, Perseverance Project Associate Scientist, in the press release. from NASA. “Butler inspired and influenced the planetary scientific community and many beyond, including those typically underrepresented in STEM fields.”

Image of Hazcam taken shortly after Perseverance's inaugural campaign on March 4, 2021.

Image of Hazcam taken shortly after Perseverance’s maiden voyage in March 4, 2021.
Picture: NASA / JPL-Caltech

The Perseverance rover, now officially at Octavia E. Butler Landing inside Jezero Crater.successfully finished your first test drive orn March 4.

During the 33 minute arousalyouZionNASA’s Mars 2020 mission specialists had the rover move forward 13 feet (4 meters), turn 150 degrees to the left while standing in place, and then back 8 feet (2.5 meters) toward a new Martian parking spot. In all, Percy traveled 21.3 feet (6.5 meters), a small step for a rover, but a big jump for the home team.

Percy’s six-wheel drive “responded superbly” and the team is “confident” that the propulsion system is “ready to go,” said Anais Zarifian, engineer for the 2020 Perseverance Mars rover mobility testbed at JPL. Eventually, the rover will travel distances closer to 650 feet (200 meters) as part of the mission’s science work.

TThe rover software was recently updated, and now several instruments have been deployed, including a pair of wind sensors and a ground-penetrating radar. The machine is 7 feet long (2meter) the robotic arm was also put into action, as the team flexed all five joints during one two-hour test. This was important, as the arm will eventually allow close-up observations of geological features and drilling of samples.

Looking ahead, the rover will undergo longer test drives and its many instruments will continue to function. tested and calibrated. As part of this commissioning phase, NASA will deploy the Ingenuity helicopter, which is currently attached to the belly of the rover. The team will soon select an airfield from which to fly the little air vehicle, in what will be a historic test.

NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down in Jezero crater on February 18. A main objective of the two-year mission is to search this crater, an ancient lake and river delta, signs of previous life.


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