Sunday, April 17, 2022

NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover Arrives at Kodiak Hill | JPL

NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover Arrives at Kodiak Hill | JPL  

Kodiak Hill - Perseverance, sol 409 Mosaic of 9 pictures taken by Mastcam-Z Left camera aboard Perseverance rover on sol 409 (April 15th, 2022) at 10:06 am Martian local time. 

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS/Thomas Appéré 

The river delta in this area "is one of the best locations on Mars for the Perseverance rover to look for signs of past microscopic life. A delta forms when a sediment laden river runs into a body of standing water, and as it does so, slows and can no longer hold the sediment, so it drops the rocks, gravel and soil into the water body, which gently sinks to the bottom and forms a delta. Over time, the delta becomes a layered repository, like an book with pages, which one can turn over each day to learn more about the history of Mars."

"How does it achieve this? Well, the rocks and sediments had to come from somewhere. They were sourced in a region called the “watershed” of the delta. This is a much bigger area than Jezero crater (itself about 45km across), and the rocks we see in the delta will inform us about a wide range of Martian process, and some rocks may even be *older* than the Jezero crater itself (about 3.9 billion years old)."

"Another possibility is that we may find fossilized traces of ancient Martian life in these delta rocks. In one scenario, life might have got started in the early Noachian period (about 4 billion years old) when Mars was probably more friendly to life, and was preserved in the watershed until one fateful day when they were washed into the river system, and then the crater."

"So these interesting rocks will arrive somewhat randomly to us as we explore the delta, one can appreciate that everyday of the year-long “Delta campaign” will be exciting for every scientist on the team, because every day could be the day we hit it big. Real big."

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance and Curiosity rovers.

Mission Name: Mars 2020

Rover Name: Perseverance

Main Job: Seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for possible return to Earth.

Launch: July 30, 2020    

Landing: Feb. 18, 2021, Jezero Crater, Mars

For more about Perseverance:

For more information on NASA's Mars missions, visit:

Story Credit: Adrian Brown, Deputy Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters

Image Release Date: April 15, 2022

Story Release Date: April 15, 2022

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