LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — NASA made history Thursday afternoon as the Perseverance rover landed on Mars, and two professors at UNLV played a part in it.

UNLV geoscience professors Elisabeth Hausrath and Arya Udry each have had a hand in the project. 

Professor Udry explained her involvement in the project in a post on UNLV’s website. She will help distinguish igneous versus sedimentary rocks on the surface, along with other “science operation roles.” 

Professor Hausrath’s role involves helping select samples to be returned to Earth from Mars, while also helping the team look for signs of habitable conditions on Mars. 

“Perseverance is well named,”” said Professor Hausrath. “Perseverance is what it takes to be a scientist, and I encourage everyone who’s interested in studying science to please persevere.” 

Perseverance traveled nearly 300 million miles to get to the red planet. The robotic spacecraft will be searching for signs of life. 

That will be done by drilling into the ground and flying its drone helicopter above. 

To read more about the UNLV involvement in the mission, CLICK HERE.