BLOGMARS PERSEVERANCE ROVER


Perseverance Takes First Core From the Delta
Mars Perseverance Sol 490 - Right Mastcam-Z Camera: The Swift Run core inside the coring bit.  Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU. Download image ›

Perseverance has taken its first sample from the Jezero delta!

NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its SHERLOC WATSON camera, located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm, showing an abraded patch Thornton Gap.
Mars Perseverance Sol 482: WATSON Camera: The abraded patch Thornton Gap. Note the visible clasts in the rock. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
Since arriving at the delta, the rover has been observing and abrading different rocks to inform whether they are good candidate for our first core sample in this area.  The first few rocks that were considered either fractured too easily or had surfaces that were too rough to safely place the drill.  The team searched for a rock with the following:

  1. scientifically interesting,
  2. a manageable amount of surface topography,
  3. large enough to fit an abrasion and two cores, and
  4. predicted to be robust to drilling.

The best candidate was a rock named Skinner Ridge.

The first activity on this rock was an abrasion called Thornton Gap, and immediately the team was excited.  The abrasion was successful, revealing the inner surface of the rock without fracturing the surrounding area.  It revealed that this rock contained individual clasts with clear boundaries.  The rover’s full instrument suite was used to investigate and document the abraded patch, then it was time to core.

NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its onboard Left Navigation Camera (Navcam). The camera is located high on the rover's mast and aids in driving.
Mars Perseverance Sol 490 - Left Navigation Camera: The abraded patch and coring borehole on the rock Skinner Ridge. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
It turned out to be a great choice.  The core was named Swift Run, and collecting it went very smoothly.  At 6.70 cm long, it is our longest core of the mission so far.  Perhaps even more exciting was to see that those same clasts visible in the abraded patch were also visible in the core.  The drill data showed that the rock was one of the softer ones we have cored so far.  It only required low levels of percussion to make progress through the rock, occasionally turning off percussion altogether when rotary only drilling was sufficient.

One last note for anyone wondering where these names come from.  The Perseverance mission names areas after different national parks on Earth.  Rocks, abrasions, and cores are given names related to the current area.  The rover is currently in the Shenandoah quadrangle, named for the U.S. National Park in Virginia.  Skinner Ridge, Thornton Gap, and Swift Run are all features in Shenandoah.



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
  • 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
  • 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 ›