BLOGMARS PERSEVERANCE ROVER


We’ve Arrived! Perseverance Starts the Delta Front Campaign
Mars Perseverance Sol 411 - Left Mastcam-Z Camera: This image, captured by the Mastcam-Z instrument, is part of a mosaic acquired of the delta front. The geometry of the layers and size of the grains that make up these rocks can tell us about the history of the delta. This image was acquired on April 16, 2022 (Sol 411) at the local mean solar time of 09:39:36. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU. Download image ›

We made it! Perseverance is at the delta, and gracing us with stunning images to pour over.

Mars 2020 is officially out of “Rapid Traverse” mode, where we put the pedal to the metal and focused on driving. This week, we are back to standard operations, and the team is beginning our Delta Front Campaign. You can check out last week’s blog for details on why exploring the delta is so exciting. We haven’t left the Crater Floor Campaign entirely behind us though, as we’ll investigate the contact between the rocks of the crater floor and those that make up the delta, as well as between different types of crater floor rocks named ‘Máaz’ and ‘Séítah.’ Looking at contacts— the boundaries between different types of rocks— is a really important way for geologists to understand the sequence of events. Did one type of rock gradually transition into another, or was the change abrupt? Does the contact represent a change in environment or how the rocks were deposited? Was there a large gap of time between the distinct types of rocks? These are all questions we can investigate at contacts, and these will help us to better understand the history of Jezero crater.

The Mastcam-Z instrument snapped this close up of ‘Kodiak’, a remnant from when the delta was more extensive. The Mars 2020 team has had eyes on Kodiak since last year, but now we can see details that weren’t previously visible. This raw image has been stretched to better highlight features in the middle of the image. This image was acquired on April 14, 2022 (Sol 409) at the local mean solar time of 10:06:40.
Mars Perseverance Sol 409 - Left Mastcam-Z Camera: The Mastcam-Z instrument snapped this close up of ‘Kodiak’, a remnant from when the delta was more extensive. The Mars 2020 team has had eyes on Kodiak since last year, but now we can see details that weren’t previously visible. This raw image has been stretched to better highlight features in the middle of the image. This image was acquired on April 14, 2022 (Sol 409) at the local mean solar time of 10:06:40. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU. Download image ›

Analyzing rover data is one way we learn about Mars’ geologic past, but planetary geologists can also study “terrestrial analogs.” These are locations on Earth where we can make valuable comparisons to what we see on other planetary bodies, such as Mars, to help us understand their landscapes. I’ve enjoyed hearing comparisons between Jezero and Earth from members of our Science Team; most recently we discussed how the Jezero delta sediments might be similar to those in Greece. As a British-Greek member of the team, I used to drive through the Gulf of Corinth each summer to visit family in Ακράτα (Akrata). Little did I know that I was gazing out the window at a wonderful analog for some of the deltaic features we’re seeing in Jezero today!

Over the next few months, we’ll use the entire suite of Perseverance instruments to explore the delta. We expect to find rocks that will be rather different from the igneous rocks (meaning they formed from magma or lava) of the crater floor. During that exploration, we will also take samples of some of the most interesting and astrobiologically promising rocks. I can’t wait to see what Perseverance will find!



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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Bavani Kathir
    Student Collaborator on Mastcam-Z, Western Washington University
  • Lydia Kivrak
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • 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
  • Sarah Milkovich
    Assistant Science Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Eleanor Moreland
    Ph.D. Student, Rice University
    Houston, Texas
  • 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
  • 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:


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

View Map ›