Here's What's Next for NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover
The Perseverance rover is gearing up to drill some Martian rocks, and mission scientists have seen evidence for ancient flash flooding in the dried-up lakebed where the rover landed. NASA shared these updates and more during a press conference today at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Perseverance landed on Mars in February, and its science mission officially began in June, following operational checks on its instruments and the historic flights taken by the Ingenuity helicopter. Perseverance is tasked with exploring Mars’ Jezero Crater, the site of a former lake that NASA scientists hope could contain fossilized evidence of Martian life. So far, Perseverance has driven about a kilometer (0.62 miles), imaging interesting rock formations along the way. These formations shed light on the Red Planet’s geologic history, and some of them are promising sites to investigate for biosignatures (evidence of life), which researchers expect could look like the stromatolites encased in ancient rock on Earth. Ultimately, the rock samples collected by the rover will be grabbed by another mission and brought to Earth—the first materials that will be …
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