PIA25406: Perseverance's Panorama of Potential Mars Sample Return Landing Site
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars 2020 Rover
 Spacecraft:  Perseverance
 Instrument:  Navigation Camera (M2020) 
 Product Size:  16287 x 4459 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA25406.tif (131.2 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA25406.jpg (5.311 MB)

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 PIA25406
Figure 1

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover used one of its navigation cameras to take this panorama of a proposed landing site for the Mars Sample Return lander. The lander would collect rock and sediment samples that Perseverance has taken and would also serve as the launch platform for a Mars Ascent Vehicle that would blast off from Mars, delivering the samples to an orbiter as part of their journey to Earth for intensive study.

Figure 1 is an annotated version of the panorama that notes important features in the distance as well as how far away they are.

Choosing an area that lacks large rocks (especially those over 7 1/2 inches, or 19 centimeters, in diameter), sand dunes, and steeply angled terrain would go a long way toward easing the path for an MSR recovery vehicle to efficiently grab tubes before heading to the lander.

This panorama is made up of five images taken on April 14, 2022 (the 409th Martian day, or sol, of the mission) and stitched together back on Earth. The color has been adjusted to match the lighting conditions as the human eye would perceive them on Earth.

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: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

For more about Mars Sample Return: https://mars.nasa.gov/msr/

Image Credit:

Image Addition Date: