Side-by-side abrasion patches for Guilliamus and Bellegarde
These abrasion targets, nicknamed "Guilliamus" (left) and "Bellegarde" (right), are from the first and second rocks drilled by NASA's Perseverance Mars rover. These images were taken by the rover's Mastcam-Z camera system. The rover abrades rocks using a tool on its robotic arm before drilling them in order to clear away dust and weathering rinds, allowing other instruments to study the rocks and determine if scientists want to grab a sample of them.
Arizona State University in Tempe leads the operations of the Mastcam-Z instrument, working in collaboration with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego.
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.