A Thousand Days Of Astrobiology Research Travel By The Mars Perseverance Rover

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
December 29, 2023
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A Thousand Days Of Astrobiology Research Travel By The Mars Perseverance Rover
The path taken by NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover during the first 1,000 sols (Martian days) of its mission at Jezero Crater is annotated on this overhead view taken by the HiRISE camera aboard the agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. White circles signify locations on the surface where the rover stopped after completing a traverse. The pale blue circle at upper left indicates the rover’s position as of Dec. 12, 2023. The white text indicates the areas of the four rover science campaigns, from initial campaign to current: Crater Floor, Delta Front, Upper Fan, and Margin. Figure A, showing the same general area, is annotated to indicate the route and the two locations where the rover used its PIXL instrument to analyze abrasion patches “Ouzel Falls” and “Bills Bay” and its drill to core corresponding rock samples, “Otis Peak” and “Lefroy Bay.” — NASA

A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life.

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.
Date Created:2023-12-12

The University of Arizona, in Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. JPL manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.


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