Perseverance Makes Tracks in Boulder Field
This mosaic shows part of the path NASA's Perseverance Mars rover took through a portion of a boulder field dubbed "Snowdrift Peak." It was generated using images taken by one of the rover's navigation cameras on July 28, 2023, the 866th day, or sol, of the mission.
With the help of its self-driving autonomous navigation system, AutoNav, Perseverance traversed the boulder field much more quickly than previous rovers could have.
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/