For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – My Perseverance Mars rover mosaic titled ‘Perseverance Sol 354’ was published on Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) on Feb. 25, 2022 which I created to celebrate the first ‘landiversary’ of the six wheeled robot since touching down on the Red Planet one year ago, on Feb. 18, 2021 along with the first Martian helicopter her cohort Ingenuity at the Jezero crater landing site – and is displayed as the lead image above with the APOD explanation caption.
Here is the the APOD explanation caption as featured on Feb. 25, 2022 at this link: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220225.html
Explanation: This Navcam mosaic from Perseverance looks out over the car-sized rover’s deck, across the floor of Jezero crater on Mars. Frames used to construct the mosaic view were captured on mission sol 354. That corresponds to Earth calendar date February 17, 2022, nearly one Earth year after the rover’s landing. With a mass of over 1,000 kilograms, six-wheeled Perseverance is the heaviest rover to touch down on Mars. During its first year of exploration the rover has collected six (so far) rock core samples for later return to planet Earth, served as the base station for Ingenuity, the first helicopter on Mars, and tested MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment), converting some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen. Credit: NASA/JPL/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose
The SUV-sized 1 ton 1,025 kilograms) Perseverance is the heaviest and most technologically advanced emissary from Earth ever to soft land on the 4th rock from the Sun
You can see and experience some of the magnificent vistas visible to Perseverance traversing at her approximate current location, via my four new Mars mosaics image creations included here and stitched together from raw images snapped by Perseverance on Sol 353, 354 and 358 – corresponding to Earth days Feb. 16, 17 and 22, 2022.
Perseverance has made a series of great scientific accomplishments during Year 1 on Mars’ with much more in store in the years to come in the continuing journey of exploration and discovery and searching for signs of potential ancient life at Jezero Crater.
The Perseverance rover accomplishments include; collecting the first six rock core samples for return to Earth, serving as a base station for the Ingenuity Mars helicopter she brought along from the Home Planet and deployed to the surface, and carrying out the first ‘in situ’ demonstrations to convert Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen, and set distance driving records on Mars on the floor of Jezero Crater.
To date Perseverance has gathered and story six rock core samples that will eventually be transported back to Earth for high powered analysis by the most advanced science and research instruments available – as part of the first leg of the joint NASA-ESA Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign culminating in the early to mid-2030s.
Perseverance also served as a kind of control station for the Ingenuity Mars helicopter – the first aircraft to fly on another planet. Ginny has far surpassed expectation flying 19 increasing complex times so far – compared to a goal of merely 5 more simple sorties.
The robot has also successfully carried out the first ‘in situ’ demonstrations to convert carbon dioxide (comprising 96% of Mars atmosphere) into oxygen (which is present in only trace amounts) – which is critical for the ability of future human astronauts to ‘live off the land’ so to speak
“The rover collected the first rock core samples from another planet (it’s carrying six so far), served as an indispensable base station for Ingenuity, the first helicopter on Mars, and tested MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment), the first prototype oxygen generator on the Red Planet.”
I’ve now been on Mars for a full (Earth) year! Many firsts on an ambitious to-do list:
✅ Collected first rock cores from another planet
✅ Served as base station for #MarsHelicopter
✅ Extracted oxygen from thin Martian air
✅ Set driving records
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 18, 2022
As the rover celebrates the remarkable ‘landiversary’ of Year 1 on Mars she has also nearly completed her first science campaign in Jezero Crater.
“Using a drill on the end of its robotic arm and a complex sample collection system in its belly, Perseverance is snagging rock cores from the crater floor – the first step in the Mars Sample Return campaign.”
Jezero was chosen as the robots landing site because it contained a lake billions of years ago and features some of the oldest rocks Mars scientists have been able to study up close.
“Rocks that have recorded and preserved environments that once hosted water are prime locations to search for signs of ancient microscopic life.”
And just last week Perseverance also broke the record for the most distance driven by a Mars rover in a single day!
Perseverance traveled almost 1,050 feet (320 meters) on Feb. 14, 2022, or Sol 351 of the mission.
“And it performed the entire drive using AutoNav, the self-driving software that allows Perseverance to find its own path around rocks and other obstacles,” the team explained.
Meanwhile Ingenuity recently completed its 19th flight
In fact Percy and Ginny will meet up again soon at their original landing site
“Ingenuity is still doing well, and recently completed its 19th flight! You can see its location marked on the map above, as it works its way back toward our landing site (where I’m also heading),” the team tweeted.
Ingenuity is still doing well, and recently completed its 19th flight! You can see its location marked on the map above, as it works its way back toward our landing site (where I'm also heading).
Interactive map: https://t.co/uPsKFhW17J
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 15, 2022
After a year surveying the floor of Jezero Crater floor, the six wheeled robot is heading back to her landing site before embarking on a trek to the craters breathtaking and science target rich hills.
“Time flies when you’re exploring another planet! This week marks my one-year landiversary on Mars (Feb. 18) and I have several drives planned and more rocks to see. Meanwhile, my team back on Earth has various ways you can celebrate my first year at Mars: go.nasa.gov/3uQuURw,” the rover tweeted.
Time flies when you’re exploring another planet! This week marks my one-year landiversary on Mars (Feb. 18) and I have several drives planned and more rocks to see. Meanwhile, my team back on Earth has various ways you can celebrate my first year at Mars: https://t.co/iF4lZGRAtQ pic.twitter.com/wteqteWkJZ
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 15, 2022
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Mars Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, JWST, IXPE, DART, SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, Lucy Asteroid mission, SpaceX Starlink, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3, ISS, Solar Orbiter, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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