The size of a car, the 1,026 kg geobiology and astrobiology robot will undergo several weeks of testing before beginning a two-year scientific investigation in Mars’ Jezero crater. . Besides studying the rocks and sediments of ancient river deltas and Jezero lake beds to characterize the region’s past geology and climate, a fundamental part of its mission is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life.
About 45 kilometers wide, Jezero Crater is located on the western edge of Isidis Planitia, a giant impacted basin just north of Mars’ equator. Scientists have determined that 3.5 billion years ago this crater had its own river delta and was filled with water.
Armed with seven basic science instruments, the largest number of cameras ever sent to Mars, and its extremely sophisticated sample backup system – the first of its kind sent into space – Perseverance will scour the Jezero region in search of fossil remains of ancient microbial life on Mars, while collecting specimens.
Paving the way for humanity’s quests
Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z can produce high-resolution color 3D panoramas of the Martian landscape. Additionally, SuperCam uses pulsed lasers to study rock and sediment chemistry, and has its own microphone to help scientists better understand the properties of rocks, including their hardness.
RIMFAX is the first ground-penetrating radar on the surface of Mars and will be used to determine how different layers of the Martian surface form over time. The data could help pave the way for future sensors to search for ice deposits below the surface.
Additionally, other Perseverance instruments will attempt to produce oxygen from the Red Planet’s thin atmosphere and primarily carbon dioxide; provide key insights into Mars’ current weather, climate, and dust; spot or deliver cargo for future astronauts away from home.
HS translation team.
Synopsis from Space.com