The Scarps of Jezero Crater's Delta
This mosaic featuring several of the escarpments, or scarps – long, steep slopes – of Jezero Crater's river delta was taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA's Perseverance rover on Apr. 17, 2021. The delta formed billions of years ago from sediment that an ancient river carried to the mouth of the lake that once existed in the crater. The images that stitched together to create the mosaic were taken from a distance of about 1.2 miles (2.2 kilometers).
An annotated version of this image (Figure 1) indicates the location of four prominent scarps in the delta.
The Mastcam-Z investigation is led and operated by Arizona State University in Tempe, working in collaboration with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, California, on the design, fabrication, testing, and operation of the cameras, and in collaboration with the Neils Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen on the design, fabrication, and testing of the calibration targets.
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 information about Perseverance: