Up and Soon, Away: Perseverance Continues Exploring the Upper Fan
Mars Perseverance Sol 765 - Left Mastcam-Z Camera: This image, captured by the Mastcam-Z instrument, is of “Blueberry Island”.  The interesting texture of this rock caught the eyes of our science team, who also used the SuperCam instrument to collect additional measurements of the rock. This image was acquired on April 15, 2023 (Sol 765) at the local mean solar time of 11:29:55. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU. Download image ›

After our exploration of a boulder field last week, Perseverance is continuing the Upper Fan campaign. We have driven to Echo Creek, from which we also have a view of Belva Crater.

Along our journey, we have seen many interesting rocks. These include a lumpy rock that the team named “Blueberry Island”, seen in the above Mastcam-Z image (Sol 765). This rock may be a conglomerate (sedimentary) rock, ejecta that was blasted out in the impact that formed the nearby Belva Crater, a volcanic rock, or something else entirely. The team will analyze the data we collected to help understand the diversity of rocks on the upper fan.

At Echo Creek, we’re conducting both long distance and close-up measurements. Visible in the distance, Belva Crater has an interesting depth to diameter ratio compared to other Martian craters, as it is shallower than expected. The crater walls also appear to have been breached. Is the crater infilled, or were the rims eroded down? Were the crater walls breached by water, or ice? Our science team hopes to answer these questions by taking a closer look at the crater walls from our vantage point.

As for Echo Creek itself, we see in orbital imagery that the rocks are a brighter color than those surrounding them, and also that they exhibit an interesting polygonal fracturing pattern. These rocks may be similar to those that form the ‘marginal fractured unit’, which has a number of hypothesized origins ranging from sedimentary to volcanic. However, they could instead be the same kind of rock that we found at Tenby, known as the curvilinear unit. Our closer inspection of Echo Creek will help us to distinguish between these different hypotheses.

Whether the rocks at Echo Creek prove to be the same as those we’ve already seen, or something new, we are approaching the end of our Upper Fan campaign and will soon begin our exploration of the marginal units. As we climb up the fan, our horizons continue to expand. Having recently celebrated its first Martian birthday, Perseverance shows no signs of slowing down!

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
  • Stephanie Connell
    SuperCam, PhD Student, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN
  • 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
  • Elisha Jhoti
    Ph.D. Student, University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Bavani Kathir
    Student Collaborator on Mastcam-Z, Western Washington University
  • Lydia Kivrak
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Athanasios Klidaras
    Ph.D. Student, Purdue University
  • 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
  • Forrest Meyen
    MOXIE Science Team Member, Lunar Outpost
  • Sarah Milkovich
    Assistant Science Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Eleanor Moreland
    Ph.D. Student, Rice University
    Houston, Texas
  • Asier Munguira
    Ph.D. Student, University of the Basque Country
  • 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
  • Thirupathi Srinivasan
    Robotic Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
  • 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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