In a massive boost to women in space, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine recently hinted that the first person on Mars could be a woman, according to international reports. Addressing a press conference on Friday, Bridenstine had made this surprise announcement after the successful completion of the first all-female spacewalk. The spacewalk had been scheduled months ago.
“We could very well see the first person on Mars be a woman. I think that could very well be a milestone,” Bridenstine said to reporters. He added as the manned Mars mission will not happen 2030, he said that whoever does travel to Mars is probably too young to travel. He also said, "If my 11-year-old daughter has her way, we’ll have a woman on Mars in the not-too-distant future."
Recently, NASA achieved a success in its ongoing Mars mission, when NASA's InSight lander's probe on Mars on October 18 had used its robotic arm (mole) to dig nearly 2 centimeters (3/4 of an inch) over the past week, announced NASA. The mole is reportedly designed to dig as much as 16 feet (5 meters) underground to gauge the heat escaping from the planet's interior. But, unfortunately, it has only managed to partially bury itself since it started hammering in February 2019.
Progress! @NASAInSight's heat probe or "mole" is on the move, after a new strategy used the lander's robotic arm to help it start digging into the Martian soil once again. How @NASAJPL's team worked on the recovery effort: https://t.co/NSn6SlCbiS pic.twitter.com/fMCU83htlk— NASA (@NASA) October 17, 2019
As explained by NASA, the Mars 2020 rover is based on its predecessor 'Curiosity' which was launched in 2011. The car-sized rover which is about 10 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 7 feet tall weighs 1050 kgs, which is less than a compact car. NASA claims that the rover parts are similar to what any living creature would need to keep it "alive" and able to explore.
The official launch window of the mission is July 17- August 5, 2020, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The rover is expected to land on February 18, 2021, at Jezero Crater, Mars. The mission is expected to last for about 687 Earth days which is one Mars year.