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On the Road Again: Perseverance Heads to South Séítah
Bastide Up Close: NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used its Left Navigation Camera (Navcam) to acquire an image of target Bastide, a layered outcrop seen here just above the rover’s arm. Scientists will be investigating this rock as a potential sampling site as the rover explores the South Séítah region.  Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

Over the ridge and around the sand ripples to South Séítah we go! After wrapping up science activities at the Citadelle location, including our first successful sampling on the Rochette rock, the Perseverance rover was hungry for more. With our Martian keepsakes in stow, Perseverance celebrated its 200th sol on Mars (September 11th, 2021) with a record breaking 175-meter drive northwest along Artuby ridge, a series of layered outcrops that outline the southern edge of the Séítah thumb and possibly represent a boundary between two geologic units. Perseverance took the wheel for most of the drive, covering 167 meters using the rover’s advanced auto-navigation function (or “Autonav”), a mobility software that allows Perseverance to map terrain and avoid hazards for longer drives.

After collecting some images from the top of Artuby, Perseverance turned right and headed off the ridge as we dipped our wheels into the Séítah region. Thanks to some awesome scouting by the Ingenuity helicopter during flight 12 on Sol 174 (August 16th, 2021), the science team was able to get a preview of the rocks ahead and identify potential targets of interest for sampling. One rock that caught our eye was a thinly-layered outcrop called Bastide. The thin layers of Bastide suggest this rock may be sedimentary and deposited by water as a result of Jezero lake activity over 3 billion years ago, but further investigation is needed to confirm its origin. We got our first up close look at Bastide as we arrived at the outcrop on sol 204 (September 15th, 2021) after a series of drives. Since arriving, we have abraded the rock to reveal a fresh surface and better investigate the composition using our sophisticated suite of science instruments.

Some of our major science questions as we explore South Séítah are: How do these rocks relate to those previously explored in the “Crater Floored Fractured Rough” (“CF-Fr”) and do they represent a geologically distinct origin and time in Jezero’s history? Bastide may hold the answers to these questions and potentially provide a key sample in our cache that will one day be returned to Earth and studied by future scientists. But with Mars solar conjunction set to begin in early October, we will likely have to wait a little longer to sample our next Martian rock. In the meantime, we will have plenty of data to ponder and finalize a target for sampling once Mars comes back into view!



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+

  • Iona Brockie
    Sampling Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Sawyer Brooks
    Docking Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Denise Buckner
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • 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
  • Jennifer Trosper
    Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • 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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