BLOGMARS PERSEVERANCE ROVER


Campaign #2: The Delta Front
Perseverance looks towards the Delta on Sol 419, capturing this image with its Right Navigation Camera Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

This week on Mars, Perseverance officially began the “Delta Front Campaign.” This second campaign of the mission commenced on April 18th, 2022, the 415th sol since landing. Each campaign represents a sub-portion of the Mars 2020 mission and is dedicated to exploring a distinct region, drilling designated sets of cores for possible future return to Earth, and taking numerous in situ science observations with onboard instruments to study the environmental and geologic features that characterize that region.

During the Crater Floor Campaign, Perseverance spent over 400 sols roving across the floor of Jezero crater, starting at the Octavia E. Butler landing site, driving south to explore the best exposures of the crater floor rocks, then turning back to the north around Séítah, and approaching the edge of the delta. During this traverse, Perseverance drilled and collected 8 rock cores, one atmospheric sample, and sealed one witness tube. The rover characterized igneous lithologies (or rock types) that make up the crater floor, studied Martian atmospheric phenomenon and dust cycling, supported the Ingenuity helicopter’s 27 flights (thus far!) and so much more. Perseverance also used cameras and remote sensing instruments to start observing the delta from afar in preparation for the Delta Front Campaign. Here you can view an interactive map showing everywhere Perseverance has explored to date!

The Delta Front Campaign will take about half of an Earth year: Perseverance will rove 130 feet (40 meters) up and over the delta, drill cores along the way, and characterize the layered sedimentary rocks that make up the delta. These sediments were deposited billions of years ago, when water flowed across the surface of Mars and a river drained into the ancient crater below. If Mars did host life during this time, remnants or signatures of those organisms could be preserved in some of these ancient rocks. By characterizing the delta’s structure, mineralogy, and organic chemistry, scientists hope to better understand Jezero’s past environment and select cores that could be astrobiologically interesting for return to Earth!

Perseverance will spend the first few sols of the Delta Front Campaign traversing across an area called Cannery Passage, which is the transitional region between the edge of the crater floor and the delta. Next, the science team will have a big decision to make- which direction will Perseverance take to get up the delta? Over the past few months, the science team’s Campaign Planning Science Group worked to map out potential paths and decided on two options: Cape Nukshak and Hawksbill Gap. Once Perseverance is closer to this divergence point, images and other data gathered by rover instruments will give the scientists and engineers a better idea of which area may be more interesting and provide better opportunities to conduct scientific measurements. After selecting a path, Perseverance will rove up the delta layers, stopping to analyze the sediments and gather cores along the way. When the climb is complete, the Delta Front Campaign will conclude and Perseverance will begin campaign #3: the Delta Top.



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.

Subscribe via RSS RSS icon


Sign up to Mars Newsletter

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 ›