On Thursday, February 18th, NASA's Perseverance landed on Mars in the Jezero Crater after a seven-month journey when it landed at 2:55 p.m. EST. It will collect samples to bring back to Earth and look for signs of ancient life.

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Perseverance isn't ready to start rolling on the planet yet and it could take several months until it begins its science work. When I heard about this I was wondering how the rover got its name. Come to find out, it was named by an 8th grader named Alex Mather from Virginia as part of the, "Name the Rover" essay contest.

There were over 28,000 entries and was the latest in a long line of Red Planet rovers to be named by school-aged children. I have to admit, I LOVE the name "Perseverance." Before the 2020 coronavirus pandemic began, perseverance was just a line from the movie "Outlaw of Josey Wales" by Chief Dan George as Lone Waite when he said these now immortal words "Endeavor to Persevere."

That's all changed in the last 12 months and perseverance is something that I cling to. I know that I can't control the course of life but I can control the way I run the course. I find the race is easier to run if I rid myself of the things that weigh me down.

I know that I'm not always going to get it right but I remind myself that perseverance isn't perfection, it's direction. When I'm tempted to stop, I run with perseverance. Lighten your load and get rid of the unhealthy habits in your life.

Perseverance took on the trip to Mars and made it successfully through the "7 Minutes of Terror." It went from 12,000 miles per hour to 1.7 miles per hour and landed softly on the planet. There is a life lesson in there about slowing things down so we don't go crashing into the ground.

However, that will have to be another story for another day. Because the Perseverance rover landed safely and will be full of firsts including the first helicopter fly on another planet and the first recording of sounds on the Red Planet.

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