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Students cheer on Mars Perseverance

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Woodland Hills Elementary School students watch the Perseverance rover landing on Mars

Students at five area schools learned some special behind-the-scene information about the role of the Idaho National Laboratory in the Mars Perseverance rover landing.

In addition to watching the landing of the rover, at the end of its 7-month, 300-million mile journey from Earth to Mars, students learned how INL engineers supported NASA and helped power the Perseverance rover.

Students were also able to build their own foam rocket and learn about the science of rockets traveling in space.

Special presentations and activities were planned throughout the day at Sandcreek Middle School, and Woodland Hills Elementary in Ammon, Templeview Elementary in Idaho Falls, and JR Simplot Elementary and William Thomas Middle School in American Falls.

INL assembles, tests and delivers the radioisotope power system, called a multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator, that provides power and heat for the rover, allowing it to dependably roam the Red Planet in harsh conditions over many years.  

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