PIA24936: SuperCam Views Cine
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars 2020 Rover
 Spacecraft:  Perseverance
 Instrument:  SuperCam 
 Product Size:  2102 x 2376 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Los Alamos National Laboratory 
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA24936.tif (11.36 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA24936.jpg (513.2 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

click here for Figure 1 for PIA24936
Figure 1

This enhanced-color close-up of a rock target called "Cine" was captured by the SuperCam instrument aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover on Sept. 17, 2021, the 206th Martian day, or sol, of rover's mission. SuperCamís Remote Microscopic Imager took two images that were later combined to form this close-up. The target is 92 inches (2 meters) away, seen from the rover's mast.

A more zoomed-in image is available in Figure 1.

The image shows a rock layer made up of tightly packed millimeter-size gray, angular grains, or crystals. The image on the right shows a detail of the grain/crystal texture. The composition of this rock target was investigated with SuperCam's laser and spectrometer, along with the Mastcam-Z camera. Using these instruments, scientists can study the chemical composition of rocks from a distance. Analysis of "Cine" showed that it is rich in the mineral olivine. After the image was taken, the missionís science team debated whether the rock is igneous (volcanic) or consists of fine sedimentary grains of igneous material that were cemented together in a watery environment.

SuperCam is led by Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where the instrument's body unit was developed. That part of the instrument includes several spectrometers as well as control electronics and software. The mast unit, including the Remote Microscopic Imager used for these images, was developed and built by several laboratories of the CNRS (the French research center) and French universities under the contracting authority of Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency.

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.

For more about Perseverance:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020

nasa.gov/perseverance

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP

Image Addition Date:
2021-12-15