A Sol in the Life of a Rover
A Morning Atmospheric Science Observation on Sol 345: This image of the Sun was taken by Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z. This type of observation is called a “basic tau” and is used to help characterize the atmosphere. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU. Download image ›

What does Percy do all day? A Martian day- or Sol- is 24 hours and 37 minutes long, and while every Sol is different, each one is packed full of exciting science activities, observations, and discoveries! Let’s follow Percy on Sol 345 (February 8th, 2022) to catch a glimpse into the daily life of a Martian explorer.

Percy woke up early in the morning at 02:07 LMST (Local Mean Solar Time on Mars) to conduct a data management activity for an onboard instrument called MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer), which uses a suite of sensors to monitor weather throughout the Sol. After a short nap, it was time to wake up again and send data from the previous Sol’s observations down to scientists on Earth via Mars orbiters and the Deep Space Network (DSN). Mars is circled by several orbiting satellites that relay information between the rover and mission control: each Sol’s plan with commands for every activity is uplinked from Earth to Mars once in the morning, while images and information collected by rover instruments are downlinked from Mars to Earth multiple times throughout the day and night.

The sun rose at 05:16, and the rover conducted a series of daily engineering activities to send more data to Earth, manage power, and check out various instruments until the Sol 345 plan was uplinked from mission control and received around 11:00. At 11:37, Percy used Mastcam-Z to take a “basic tau” aimed skyward towards the Sun, with the goal of measuring atmospheric optical density. At 11:50, Ingenuity took off for its 19th flight on Mars, photographing Séítah from above.

While the helicopter was flying over Séítah, Percy used SuperCam, Mastcam-Z, and WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) to observe four nearby rock targets called Vergons, Galabre, Montpezat, and Tragastel. First, SuperCam used its laser to simultaneously gather information about the minerals contained in these rocks and clear away dust from the surfaces. Next, Mastcam-Z took some 3d stereo images documenting the targets. These two activities began at 12:09 and took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Finally, the rover’s robotic arm was deployed at 13:54 so that the arm-mounted WATSON could get up close and personal to capture images in fine detail, from just a few centimeters away. Afterwards, WATSON was turned off and the arm re-stowed. One of these targets would be selected for an abrasion activity in the next Sol, and the observations gathered by the three instruments provided key information to help the scientists and engineers choose the best one- which ended up being Montepezat!

From 16:10- 16:33 in the late afternoon, Percy took some atmospheric measurements, including another Mastcam-Z “basic tau” and a skyward Navcam image to look for clouds. Sunset was at 17:26, and the evening was filled with more data transfers over the DSN and an engineering activity to test out some new maneuvers for the ACA (Adaptive Caching Assembly), which is the part of the rover that stores cores after they are drilled. Finally, Percy went to sleep just before 21:00, tired out after another long yet exciting Sol on Mars!

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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  • Mariah Baker
    Planetary Scientist, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
    Washington, DC
  • Matthew Brand
    SuperCam/ChemCam Engineer, Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos Alamos National Laboratory
  • 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
  • Stephanie Connell
    SuperCam, PhD Student, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN
  • Alyssa Deardorff
    Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Kenneth Farley
    Project Scientist, Caltech
    Pasadena, CA
  • Phylindia Gant
    Mars 2020 Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Brad Garczynski
    Student Collaborator, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN
  • Erin Gibbons
    Student Collaborator, McGill University
    Montreal, Canada
  • Michael Hecht
    Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) Principal Investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Westford, MA
  • Louise Jandura
    Chief Engineer for Sampling & Caching, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Elisha Jhoti
    Ph.D. Student, University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Bavani Kathir
    Student Collaborator on Mastcam-Z, Western Washington University
  • Lydia Kivrak
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Athanasios Klidaras
    Ph.D. Student, Purdue University
  • Rachel Kronyak
    Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Steven Lee
    Perseverance Deputy Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • An Li
    Student Collaborator on PIXL, University of Washington
  • Justin Maki
    Imaging Scientist and Mastcam-Z Deputy Principal Investigator, NASA/JPL
  • Forrest Meyen
    MOXIE Science Team Member, Lunar Outpost
  • Sarah Milkovich
    Assistant Science Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Eleanor Moreland
    Ph.D. Student, Rice University
    Houston, Texas
  • Asier Munguira
    Ph.D. Student, University of the Basque Country
  • Matt Muszynski
    Vehicle Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Claire Newman
    Atmospheric Scientist, Aeolis Research
    Altadena, CA
  • Avi Okon
    Sampling Operations Deputy Lead, 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
  • Eleni Ravanis
    Student Collaborator, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
    Honolulu, HI
  • Thirupathi Srinivasan
    Robotic Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
  • Kathryn Stack
    Deputy Project Scientist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Vivian Sun
    Science Operations Systems Engineer, Staff Scientist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Iona (Brockie) Tirona
    Sampling Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Jennifer Trosper
    Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Vandi Verma
    Chief Engineer for Robotic Operations, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Rick Welch
    Deputy Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Roger Wiens
    Principal Investigator, SuperCam / Co-Investigator, SHERLOC instrument, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN

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:


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

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