BLOGMARS PERSEVERANCE ROVER


A River Runs Through It: Onward to the Delta
A 'Kodiak' Moment: This enhanced color image was acquired by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover on April 18, 2021 (sol 57). Kodiak, the prominent layered mound, stands approximately 2 km from the rover and is a remnant of the ancient Jezero delta. Scientists are using observations like this one to scout the rover’s traverse along the delta and prioritize science targets. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS. Download image ›

The delta is calling and we must go! With one Earth year in its rearview mirror, the Perseverance rover has been racking up the odometry en route to the site of it’s next science campaign. It’s been a trip down memory lane since leaving Séítah on Sol 340 (Feb 2, 2022) and retracing our tracks back to the Octavia E. Butler landing site. Familiar views and rocks greet us like old friends as we are reminded of all the incredible science and engineering we have accomplished thus far piecing together the geologic history of our Martian abode. But while our eyes (and cameras) are set on the delta, our job on the crater floor is not yet done as we seek to collect our last crater floor memento before wrapping up our first science campaign. After a series of record-breaking drives thanks to Autonav, we arrived at our next sampling site on sol 361 (Feb 24, 2022). Our goal is to sample a Ch’ał member rock, a higher standing boulder that possibly represents a unique geologic chapter in the crater floor history that we have not yet sampled. After weeks of discussion with the science team and rover planners to identify the best target to sample, we settled on rock target “Sid.” This week the rover will be completing its usual sampling cadence of abrasion and remote/proximity science to further characterize the rock before coring.

NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its onboard Right Navigation Camera (Navcam). The camera is located high on the rover's mast and aids in driving.
A Rock Named 'Sid': NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used its Left Navigation Camera (Navcam) to acquire an image on Feb 24, 2022 (sol 361) of target Sid, a higher standing boulder seen here just above the rover’s arm. Scientists plan to sample this rock before the rover heads to the delta for the mission’s next science campaign. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

Once we have our samples in stow, Perseverance will be kicking it into high gear around the northern tip of Séítah and west towards the delta. There we will have the opportunity to investigate sedimentary rock layers, clay minerals, and rounded boulders washed down from far beyond Jezero. These features are vestiges of Jezero’s watery past and clear indicators of an ancient habitable environment. If microbial life did exist here in the past, this is one of the best places to look for it as finely layered muds may have buried and preserved a record of that microbial activity. Since landing, we have been collecting long distance observations with the Mastcam-Z and SuperCam instruments to learn more about the structure and mineralogy of the delta. The science team has been busy using these observations and orbital data from satellites to scout a traverse for our next campaign as we continue to explore Jezero and search for ancient life 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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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
  • Phylindia Gant
    Mars 2020 Student Collaborator, University of Florida
  • 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
  • Avi Okon
    Sampling Operations Deputy Lead, NASA/JPL
  • 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
  • Vivian Sun
    Science Operations Systems Engineer, Staff Scientist, 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
  • 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:


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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