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Ejecting Mars' Pebbles
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.
Before and After Perseverance Sample Tube Shake: An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
The team has made good progress implementing the initial recovery steps outlined in last week’s blog. Our first success: The upper two pebbles were ejected from the bit carousel during a test. This is great news, as these small chunks of debris are believed to be the cause of the unsuccessful transfer of the drill bit and sample tube into the carousel back on Dec. 29. Our second success: We app...
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Pebbles Before Mountains
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.
Mars Perseverance Sol 320 - WATSON Image: NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its onboard SHERLOC WATSON imager. The camera is located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm. The image was acquired on Jan. 13, 2022 (Sol 320). Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
NASA’s Mars 2020 mission team has been working methodically and thoroughly, making good progress on understanding the best path forward to remove the uninvited pebbles from Perseverance’s bit carousel. Over the previous weekend, and earlier this week, operational sequences were developed and tested to remove these rocky interlopers. With terrestrial experimentation complete, we have begun ex...
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Assessing Perseverance's Seventh Sample Collection
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.
Debris in Perseverance's Bit Carousel: Pebble-sized debris can be seen in the bit carousel of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover in this Jan. 7, 2022, image. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS. Download image ›
On Wednesday, Dec. 29 (sol 306) Perseverance successfully cored and extracted a sample from a Mars rock. Data downlinked after the sampling indicates that coring of the rock the science team nicknamed Issole went smoothly. However, during the transfer of the bit that contains the sample into the rover’s bit carousel (which stores bits and passes tubes to the tube processing hardware inside the ...
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Auld Lang Séítah
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.
Mars Perseverance Sol 286 - Right Navigation Camera: NAVCAM image looking southeast towards our return trip around Séítah. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
This blog post covers rover operations from Dec. 27-Jan 2. While many reflect on the past and bid it farewell, there’s a lot of exciting science to come in the next year. While many were enjoying the days between the Christmas and New Year holidays in the US, at JPL we were working to finish up sampling activities at Issole. We'll soon bid an Auld Lang Syne to the Séítah region. As lead M...
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2021: Samples in Review
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.

Mapping Perseverance’s First Six Samples: This annotated map shows the locations where NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover collected its first witness tube and filled its first six samples. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS. Download image ›

As the 2021 calendar year comes to a close, it’s nice to sit back and reflect on all the progress we’ve made on Mars this year. It’s been a busy ~300 sols for both Perseverance and our helicopter sidekick, Ingenuity!  One of Perseverance’s mission objectives is to collect and store samples of the martian surface for eventual return back to Earth as part of the Mars Sample Return campaign. Th...
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Perseverance and the Search Amongst the Sand
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.
Mars Perseverance Sol 286 - Left Navigation Camera: NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its onboard Left Navigation Camera (Navcam). The camera is located high on the rover's mast and aids in driving. This image was acquired on Dec. 9, 2021 (Sol 286). Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
Since February 18, 2021,  Perseverance has been exploring the Jezero crater floor, including an exposure of rock and sand that the rover’s science team calls Séítah (which means “amongst the sand” in the Navajo language). One of the main exploration targets within Jezero crater is the well-preserved delta deposit, and many of the predicted landing sites for the rover were clustered very near...
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To Séítah and Back
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.
Mars Perseverance Sol 135 - Left Navigation Camera: A throwback to sol 135, when Perseverance was still on the Crater Floor Fractured Rough unit and had yet to enter Séítah. This Navcam image looks across the Séítah “thumb” and spans Artuby ridge, at the top of this image, which Perseverance drove along en route to our current location in Séítah. Just to the left of this image is where we would make our first sampling attempt at Roubion on sol 164. In the middle of this image is where we would acquire our first sample pair from the Rochette rock on sols 190 and 196. In the right part of this image, but hidden by higher topography, is where we would acquire our second sample pair from the Brac rock on sols 262 and 271. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
Six months ago, we began the dedicated investigation of the Jezero crater floor, and now in December 2021 we are more than halfway through this first science campaign. Since our first sampling experience at Roubion and our first sample pair from the Rochette rock, we have collected a second sample pair, this time from a region of the crater floor called Séítah at the Brac rock. As we now gear u...
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Eyes on the Sky
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.
Mastcam-Z's First Martian Sunset: The first Mastcam-Z image of the Martian sunset acquired from Jezero crater on sol 257 of the mission. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS. Download image ›
The Perseverance rover is equipped with a large suite of cameras—23 to be exact—which collectively enable a wide range of scientific investigations and engineering activities. Since the rover’s touchdown in Jezero crater, these cameras have served as our eyes on the ground. In less than a year, the rover has already returned thousands of stunning images of local surface features, which have pro...
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New Software, New Drill Target, and an Existential Question
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.

NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Left Mastcam-Z camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover's mast. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU. Download image ›

A plane has a pilot. A bus has a driver. A train has a conductor. But who controls a Mars rover? During the last seven years that I have operated spacecraft both in orbit and on the surface of Mars, I’ve come back again and again to the question of who is most responsible for making a spacecraft go. Is it the ACE who sends the commands to the Deep Space Network (DSN) to be sent to the spacec...
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Mars – or Arrakis?
An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the Jan. 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes.
HiRISE Spots Perseverance in 'South Séítah': The white dot in the centre is our beloved Perseverance rover, dwarfed by the large sand dunes in the Séítah region. This image was acquired on September 24th, 2021, by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona. Download image ›
Who hates deep sand traps more than golfers?  Mars rover drivers (and probably Fremen too). When your vehicle is well over 50 million kilometers away from the nearest tow company, getting your wheels stuck in sand can be a mission-critical problem. Such a predicament ended the Spirit rover’s mission in 2009. Yet Perseverance is currently winding her way through the maze of towering san...
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About This Blog

These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars 2020 mission team members who love to share what Perseverance is doing with the public.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these blogs are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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Contributors+

  • Mariah Baker
    Planetary Scientist, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
    Washington, DC
  • Iona Brockie
    Sampling Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Sawyer Brooks
    Docking Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Adrian Brown
    Deputy Program Scientist, NASA HQ
    Washington, DC
  • Denise Buckner
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Fred Calef III
    Mapping Specialist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Alyssa Deardorff
    Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Kenneth Farley
    Project Scientist, Caltech
    Pasadena, CA
  • Brad Garczynski
    Student Collaborator, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN
  • Erin Gibbons
    Student Collaborator, McGill University
    Montreal, Canada
  • Louise Jandura
    Chief Engineer for Sampling & Caching, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Lydia Kivrak
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Rachel Kronyak
    Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Matt Muszynski
    Vehicle Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Pegah Pashai
    Vehicle Systems Engineer Lead, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • David Pedersen
    Co-Investigator, PIXL Instrument, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
    Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Vivian Sun
    Science Operations Systems Engineer, Staff Scientist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Jennifer Trosper
    Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Rick Welch
    Deputy Project Manager, NASA/JPL
  • Roger Wiens
    Principal Investigator, SuperCam / Co-Investigator, SHERLOC instrument, LANL
    Los Alamos, NM

Tools on the Perseverance Rover+

The Perseverance rover has tools to study the history of its landing site, seek signs of ancient life, collect rock and soil samples, and help prepare for human exploration of Mars. The rover carries:


CAMERAS & SPECTROMETERS
GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR
ENVIRONMENTAL SENSORS
TECHNOLOGY DEMO
SAMPLE COLLECTION

Where is the Rover?

Image of a rover pin-point at Perseverance's location on Mars, Jezero Crater

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