First In-Person Meeting of the Mars 2020 Science Team Since 2019
Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Science Team: Members of the Perseverance rover Science Team pose on June 7, 2022, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the mission. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

Over 230 members of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Science Team gathered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA during June 2022 for a week of in-person science discussions, rover operations, and instrument team meetings. For many, it had been over 3 years since we’d seen each other face-to-face. For others, including many of our early career students and post-docs who joined the team recently, it was the first opportunity to match faces with names and voices experienced only online. Perseverance’s Science Team is international--representing more than a dozen countries around the world--so working remotely during the first year of Perseverance’s mission on Mars came pretty naturally. But we’ve still missed the team-building opportunities and close collaborations that come with working together and talking in-person. 

As the team gathered and prepared to head inside (masks required!) for 4 days of science presentations and discussions, joy and excitement were the dominant feelings. Colleagues reconnected, met each other for the first time, and scrambled to pick up mission swag left over from the launch and landing events. Since not everyone on the team could join us at JPL, we also had a call-in option so all could participate.  

The meeting kicked off with a welcome and introductory remarks from Project Scientist Ken Farley and Project Managers Jennifer Trosper and Art Thompson. We then began the first of several early career lightning sessions during which post-doc and graduate student team members had the floor to introduce themselves and share their research and some fun facts. We spent the next two days discussing new advances in our understanding of the Jezero crater floor rocks that Perseverance spent its first year exploring and sampling. We heard an update from the atmospheric scientists on the Perseverance team and took a break for our first Science Team photo in years! We then dug into the delta--which the rover is currently exploring--discussing how the sediments were deposited and which outcrops might best preserve signs of ancient life.  

The last day of the meeting began with inspiring remarks by JPL’s new director, Dr. Laurie Leshin, a long-time supporter and advocate of the Mars sample return effort. The team had a lively discussion of which samples to collect at the Jezero delta, then we turned our attention to the future of Mars 2020, discussing exciting targets of exploration beyond the Jezero delta and the ongoing coordination between the Mars 2020 and Mars Sample Return efforts. 

It was definitely a challenge to plan an in-person meeting of this size during the COVID-era, and it couldn’t have happened without a dedicated team at JPL who worked for months to help us pull it off. The Mars 2020 Science Team finished the week with renewed excitement and enthusiasm for the mission ahead, so it was well worth it! 

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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