Each weekend, an image that made the news or caught our attention. To celebrate the second anniversary of the arrival of the American astromobile Perseverance on the Red Planet, Olivier de Goursac, a specialist in planetary exploration missions, has reworked for Air & Cosmos one of his recent panoramas.
Happy birthday, Perseverance !
The Perseverance astromobile on the JPL's Mars 2020 mission had been deposited on Feb. 18 2021 in Jezero crater on Mars, which was once home to a lake.
The mission's main goal is to search for traces of water and signs of past microbial life.
In addition to geological and climatological analyses of the site, rocks are being analyzed by various instruments, including the SuperCam camera (an upgraded version of the ChemCam on the Curiosity astromobile, which was deployed in August 2012 in 2012 during the Mars Science Laboratory mission), provided in cooperation with Cnes.
In addition, some very specific rocks have been selected and encapsulated for return to Earth, as part of the Mars Sample Return mission scheduled to take place between 2026 and 2031.
An impressive record
To celebrate the anniversary of the astromobile, which has just reached the end of its primary mission, we asked Olivier de Goursac, a specialist in planetary exploration missions, author of numerous books on the subject and deputy secretary general of the Société Astronomique de France, to give us an first scientific report.
This impressive report is published this week in Air & Cosmos.
Olivier de Goursac took advantage of the invitation to perform, especially for Air & Cosmos, the reprocessing of a panorama made by Perseverance on February 16 Sol 709 of the mission.
The astromobile is then preparing to enter the Neretva Vallis, a river delta in which it will focus on analyzing the sediments.
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