PIA24746: Perseverance Scouts First Sampling Location
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars 2020 Rover
 Spacecraft:  Perseverance
 Instrument:  Mastcam-Z 
 Product Size:  10178 x 4367 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA24746.tif (101.4 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA24746.jpg (5.824 MB)

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Figure 1

This image shows the area on Mars from which NASA's Perseverance rover will collect its first rock sample. Scientists are particularly interested in the flat stones that appear light-colored (informally called "paver rocks"). The Perseverance team has nicknamed this area in Mars' Jezero Crater the "Crater Floor Fractured Rough" area.

The 28 individual images that were combined to make the larger main image were taken by the rover's Mastcam-Z right-eye camera on July 8, 2021 (the 136th sol, or Martian day, of the mission). The images have been calibrated and are presented in natural color, simulating the approximate view that we would see with our own eyes if we were there.

A second version (Figure 1) combines 56 individual images from the rover's Mastcam-Z left-eye and right-eye cameras on the same day. The images have been calibrated and are presented as a natural color anaglyph (for red-blue glasses), simulating the approximate 3D and color view that we would see with our own eyes if we were there.

The Mastcam-Z investigation is led and operated by Arizona State University in Tempe, working in collaboration with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, California, on the design, fabrication, testing, and operation of the cameras, and in collaboration with the Neils Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen on the design, fabrication, and testing of the calibration targets.

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 in Southern California built and manages operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.

For more about Perseverance: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020

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