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The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Mars’ upcoming visitors

By Neomi Chapelin
Staff Writer

Last year,  multiple launches to Mars were announced, such as NASA’s Perseverance rover and the United Arab Emirates’ Hope Probe. Now, the missions for the machinery are expected to begin and we’re hoping to learn a lot more about the Red Planet. 

Perseverance, the name of the roving vehicle created by NASA, was made for specific purposes, like studying the surface environment and making sure to take note of things like habitability, past life, and samples for missions in the future. It is expected to arrive in February. The robot is able to send videos and images back to Earth and NASA is expecting to receive some a few weeks after it lands. The Perseverance Rover is equipped with numerous cameras and microphones to record the landing live, and is also equipped with SHERLOC. SHERLOC, the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals, is mounted on the rover’s robotic arm. It uses spectrometers, a laser, and a camera to do its job. SHERLOC is expected to carry samples of the astronauts’ spacesuit material to see if it is suitable for the harsh Martian weather. 

NASA’s Perseverance Rover (Photo Courtesy of:

Another robot is expected to reach Mars in February. The Emirates’ Hope Probe will be the first to provide an image of the planet’s atmosphere along with its layers. This probe’s mission is to study the current and ancient climate of Mars and the connection between the two. Another objective is for it to observe how Mars lost a portion of its atmosphere by taking note of the behavior of hydrogen and oxygen. It will also create a photo of the Martian “seasons,” or the varying atmosphere throughout the year. The Hope Probe will be staying on Mar’s for one year to gather its data.

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The UAE’s Mars Hope probe (Photo Courtesy of:

Athena Hernandez, a sophomore at MAST Academy, is interested in the new potential information about Mars which could come in the upcoming months. 

“I think it’ll change the way we see Mars,” said Hernandez. “I believe that there’s life on the Red Planet, especially with the speculation of water capsules being underground.” 

When asked about humans visiting Mars, Hernandez said that she believes humans will have the technology to achieve just that in “less than twenty years or so.” The sophomore also expressed her fascination with Mars’ appearance. 

“Most people say that the prettiest planet is either Neptune because of its ring or Jupiter. I think Mars is by far the prettiest, I mean just look at the deep glow of the red-orange,” she said.

Another sophomore at MAST Academy, Samantha Sobrino, voiced her thoughts regarding the recent launches to Mars. 

“I understand that we should take advantage of our technology and explore space, but there are a lot of problems we should be focusing on Earth,” she said.  Sobrino expressed her concerns about our planet’s changing weather. Especially with most of the United States being taken by a cold wind, she has a deep concern about climate change. 

“I just want to make sure that instead of hopping off of this planet and to another, we try to save it first,” she continued. 

Let’s hope for new, shell-shocking information about Mars this year. Whatever we find, the information these rovers provide us with can only take us one step closer to possibly taking one large leap onto that planet, too.

Link to the Perseverance Rover’s landing video:

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Mars’ upcoming visitors