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NASA’s Perseverance rover set to start third yr at Jezero Crater

This picture of the ground of Jezero Crater was taken by one of many Navcam imagers aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover on Feb. 5, the 698th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

After finishing the primary pattern depot on one other world, the rover continues its hunt for Mars rocks worthy of examine on Earth.

NASA’s Perseverance rover will rejoice its second anniversary on the floor of Mars Saturday, Feb. 18. Since arriving at Jezero Crater in 2021, the six-wheeled, nuclear-powered rover has been inspecting geologic options and accumulating samples of the Red Planet which are central to step one of the NASA-ESA (European Space Agency) Mars Sample Return marketing campaign.

Scientists wish to examine Martian samples with highly effective lab gear on Earth to seek for indicators of historical microbial life and to raised perceive the processes which have formed the floor of Mars.

“Anniversaries are a time of reflection and celebration, and the Perseverance team is doing a lot of both,” stated Perseverance challenge scientist Ken Farley of Caltech in Pasadena.

This is a high-resolution model of a video taken by a number of cameras as NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. Cameras aboard the rover captured these photographs; a microphone captured the first-ever audio of a Mars touchdown. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Perseverance has inspected and carried out data collection on lots of of intriguing geologic features, collected 15 rock cores, and created the first sample depot on another world. With the start of the next science campaign, known as ‘Upper Fan,’ on Feb. 15, we expect to be adding to that tally very soon.”

In addition to the rock cores, Perseverance has collected two regolith samples and one atmospheric pattern, and it has sealed three “witness” tubes. (Learn extra about all 18 samples taken up to now.)

Numbers play a giant function within the lifetime of a Mars rover mission, not simply because the staff consists of a powerful amount of scientists (who do not normally thoughts numbers) and engineers (who love them), however as a result of statistics present the very best and best glimpse of car developments and efficiency.

For occasion, the mission can let you know not solely that the rover has pushed 9.3 miles (14.97 kilometers), but additionally that as of Feb. 14, its left entrance wheel has carried out 9,423 revolutions. They can let you know not solely that the MOXIE (brief for Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) expertise demonstration has produced 3.25 ounces (92.11 grams) of oxygen, but additionally that the Gas Dust Removal Tool (gDRT)—the little gas-puffing machine on the robotic arm—has puffed 62 occasions to clear residual dust and particles from rock-abrading actions.

“We deal with a lot of numbers,” stated Perseverance deputy challenge supervisor Steve Lee from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “We collect them, evaluate them, compare them, and more times than we want to admit, bore our loved ones with them during a family dinner.”

With that, listed here are some essentially the most up-to-date statistics relating to Perseverance’s first two Earth years of Jezero floor operations. Some will appear obscure, whereas others are extra fast, however all of them underscore how productive the mission has been.

Perseverance science statistics

The rover carries seven science instruments, they usually’ve been busy.

  • Laser photographs fired by the SuperCam science instrument: 230,554
  • Soundings carried out by the RIMFAX (Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment) ground-penetrating radar to check underground rock layers: 676,828
  • Mars audio recordings taken by SuperCam’s microphone: 662
  • Hours of Mars climate knowledge recorded by MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer): 15,769.1
  • Hours the X-ray filament on the PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) instrument has operated: 298.2
  • Laser photographs by the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) instrument: 4,337,010
  • SHERLOC spectroscopy observations: 33

Perseverance mobility and operational statistics

Along with the large drill-toting robotic arm, the rover has a small pattern dealing with arm inside its stomach.

  • Times the rover’s important robotic arm has been unstowed and stowed: 64
  • Times the drill on that arm has touched Mars: 39
  • Times drill bits have been exchanged: 48
  • Abrasions carried out by the drill: 17
  • Distance the rover’s pattern dealing with arm’s z-stage has traveled up and down: 676.1 ft (206.1 meters)

Perseverance digicam statistics

Perseverance packs seven science cameras together with 9 engineering cameras. Together, these cameras have taken greater than 166,000 pictures. Here are the picture tallies for a number of of them.

  • Mastcam-Z: 86,660
  • Navigation Cameras: 21,571
  • Front Hazard-Avoidance Cameras: 3,909
  • Rear Hazard-Avoidance Cameras: 474
  • Sampling and Caching System Camera:1,321
  • SuperCam Remote Micro-Imager: 2,825
  • SHERLOC Context Imager: 2,260
  • MEDA SkyCam: 1,831
  • PIXL Micro-Context Camera: 1,012
  • Entry, Descent, and Landing Cameras: 33,279

“Behind each number is a lot of thought and effort from a very talented group of women and men on the Perseverance team,” stated Art Thompson, Perseverance challenge supervisor at JPL. “We have come a long way together, and I can’t think of a better group to work with as we go even farther.”

In truth, when Perseverance marks its second touchdown anniversary, Mars will likely be 97 million miles (156 million kilometers) from Earth. The climate at Jezero Crater is anticipated to be sunny with a excessive of about 7 levels Fahrenheit (minus 14 levels Celsius).

The rover has directions to carry out distant science and take pictures of a spot in Jezero Crater known as “Jenkins Gap.” And folks on the mission staff are anticipated to take not less than one second to recall the place they had been and the way they felt two years in the past, when Perseverance landed on Mars.

NASA’s Perseverance rover set to start third yr at Jezero Crater (2023, February 17)
retrieved 17 February 2023
from https://phys.org/news/2023-02-nasa-perseverance-rover-year-jezero.html

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