Perseverance's 'Otis Peak' Sample Reveals Colors of Conglomerate
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover captured this image of a rock core nicknamed "Otis Peak" on June 12, 2023, the 822nd day, or sol, of the mission. The image shows the bottom of the Otis Peak core, which was collected from a conglomerate rock called "Emerald Lake." The distinctly colored areas are individual minerals (or rock fragments) transported by the river that once flowed into Mars' Jezero Crater.
The image was taken by Perseverance's Sampling and Caching System Camera, or CacheCam, located inside the rover underbelly. The camera looks down into the top of a sample tube to take close-up pictures of the sampled material and the tube as it's prepared for sealing and storage.
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 in Southern California built and manages operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.
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