Perseverance Soon Heads to 'Enchanted Lake'
Perseverance Coring Bit: Taken on Aug. 17, 2022, the 531st Martian day, or sol, of the mission shows the back of Coring Bit 2 in the bit carousel NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. A wavy, stringlike piece of foreign object debris can be seen on the left side of the bit. Coring Bit 2 was recently used to sample the sedimentary rock at “Wildcat Ridge.” Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS. Download image ›

After an extended stay at “Wildcat Ridge,” the Perseverance team is preparing to head southwest to another sedimentary outcrop on the Jezero Crater delta called Enchanted Lake. This site has enchanted our science team since we first visited it back April. 

NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Left Mastcam-Z camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover's mast.
Enchanted View of Jezero Rocks​: This image of the “Enchanted Lake” rocky outcrop, informally named after a landmark in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve, was taken by one of the Hazard Avoidance Cameras (Hazcams) on NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU. Download image ›

The drive to “Enchanted Lake” is expected to begin in the next few days with arrival in early September.

Before beginning the drive, we’ll continue efforts to assess the two small, string-like pieces of foreign object debris (FOD) detected on one of the rover’s coring bits. The rover team feels comfortable moving forward due to progress made in its FOD investigation. Since first identified Aug. 5 in imagery of the rover’s sample collection system after a 12th rock core sample was taken, the FOD has been the focus of several methodical diagnostic activities in an attempt to better understand the nature of the debris. 

We’ve commanded the rover to move, rotate, or vibrate components we think could harbor FOD. And we’ve obtained multiple sets of images of the components from different angles and in different lighting conditions from rover cameras: Mastcam-Z, Navcam, Hazcam, Supercam, and even the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera located on the rover’s turret. Finally, a thorough review of recent coring and bit-exchange activities confirm that they all executed nominally with no indication of interference from the FOD.

Analysis of the latest round of imaging, downlinked earlier today, indicates that while the two small pieces remain visible in the upper part of the drill chuck, no new FOD has been observed. In addition, imagery taken of the ground beneath the robotic arm and turret, as well as the rover deck, also showed no new FOD.

Our present status reminds me of another FOD issue we encountered in January of this year. Back then, it was small pebbles in the bit carousel. Even though we knew the carousel was robust and built to operate in a dirty environment, we took our time to better understand the situation before moving on. I think the same will hold here. Our drill is also robust and designed for dirty environments. That, combined with the fact that we have detected no new debris, gives us confidence that we can begin to move forward (literally as well as figuratively) with our Jezero Delta science investigation while continuing to do all we can to better understand the origin of the debris.

Next stop, Enchanted Lake!

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
  • 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:


Where is the Rover?

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

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