Close-Up of Perseverance Descent Stage on the Martian Surface
The High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was able to capture this image of the final location of the descent stage that helped fly NASA's Perseverance rover down to the surface of Mars. The image was taken on Feb. 19, 2021.
It is a close-up version of a larger image showing several parts of the Mars 2020 mission landing system that got the rover safely on the ground, PIA24333.
These close-ups of Mars 2020 hardware were processed to make them easier to see. The insets showing the descent stage and parachute have had color added and include data from the infrared band of light.
MRO's mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver, built the spacecraft. The University of Arizona provided and operates HiRISE.
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, 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/