Perseverance's Parking Spot During Conjunction
NASA's Perseverance rover captured this view of the location where it will be parked for several weeks during Mars solar conjunction, a period when engineers stop sending commands to spacecraft at the Red Planet. During this time, Mars and Earth are on opposite sides of the Sun, which expels hot, ionized gas that can interfere with radio signals sent between the planets.
This image was taken by the rover's left navigation camera on Nov. 1, 2023, the 960th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.
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.
For more about Perseverance: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/