Perseverance's CacheCam captured this image of the rover's latest cored sample – taken from an intriguing rock called "Bunsen Peak" – on March 11.

April 03, 2024

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover captured this image of a sample cored from a rock called "Bunsen Peak" on March 11, 2024, the 1,088th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission. The image shows the bottom of the core.

The image was taken by Perseverance's Sampling and Caching System Camera, or CacheCam, located inside the rover's underbelly. The camera looks down into the top of sample tubes to take close-up pictures of the sampled material and the tubes as they are prepared for sealing and storage.

Scale of image is about 13 microns per pixel.

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.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed for the agency by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, produced this video.

For more about Perseverance:




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