The drill hole from Perseverance’s first sample-collection attempt can be seen, along with the shadow of the rover, in this image taken by one of the rover’s navigation cameras.

August 06, 2021

This image of the hole drilled by NASA’s Perseverance rover during its first sample-collection attempt was imaged by one of the rover’s navigation cameras. The photo was taken on Aug. 6, 2021, in the “Crater Floor Fractured Rough” geologic unit in Mars’s Jezero Crater.

A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech

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