SuperCam Calibration Target on Mars
Stitched together from five images, this mosaic shows the calibration target for the SuperCam instrument aboard NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars. The component images were taken by SuperCam's remote micro-imager (RMI) on March 1, 2, and 4, 2021 (the 11th, 12th, and 13th Martian days, or sols, of Perseverance's mission on Mars). This calibration target includes visual elements for adjusting the focus of the RMI, and various samples for the calibration of the instrument's four spectrometers.
The RMI can observe dust grains as small as 4 thousandths of an inch (100 microns) on SuperCam's calibration targets on the back of the rover. The rover landed in Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. Each image has a field of view 1 1/8 inch (2.9 centimeter) in diameter.
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/