The white speck is NASA’s Perseverance rover in the “South Seitah” area of Mars’ Jezero Crater. The image was taken by the agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter using its High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, camera.
The University of Arizona, in Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
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.
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Perseverance Hardware One Day after Landing
Tucson AZ (SPX) Mar 02, 2021
This first HiRISE image of the Perseverance Rover on the surface of Mars also shows many parts of the descent system that got it safely there. Each inset shows an area about 650 feet (200 meters) across.
The rover itself sits at the center of a blast pattern created by the hovering skycrane (labeled as “descent stage”) that lowered it there. The skycrane flew off to crash as at a safe distance creating a V-shaped debris pattern that points back toward the rover it came from.
Earlier in the l … read more