The two big craters are 1.3 km apart
This week I’ve been doing lots of health checkouts, getting ready to get to work. I’ve checked many tasks off my list, including instrument tests, imaging, and getting my arm moving. Warming up for a marathon of science.
A quick test of my steering, and things are looking good as I get ready to roll. My team and I are keen to get moving. One step at a time.
Discussing the rover’s progress will be:* Robert Hogg, Perseverance deputy mission manager, JPL* Anais Zarifian, Perseverance mobility test bed engineer, JPL * Katie Stack Morgan, Perseverance deputy project scientist, JPL
How do you fly a helicopter on Mars? It takes Ingenuity and Perseverance. During this technology demo, Farah Alibay [Systems Engineer, Mars 2020] and Tim Canham [Mars Helicopter Operations Lead] will get into the details of how these craft will manage this incredible task.
I’m on the move! Just took my first test drive on Mars, covering about 16 feet (5 meters). You’re looking at the very beginning of my wheel tracks. Many more to make.
We aren't talking nearly enough about the freaking zoom lens on @NASAPersevere
The LCAM image taken for TRN during EDL are up!https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/multimedia/raw-images/Fun fact: The same camera took all four of these photos!
Things are sounding really good here. Listen to the first sounds of wind captured by my SuperCam microphone. This mic is located at the top of my mast. For this recording, my mast was still down so the sound is a bit muffled.
Perseverance has begun checking its sample collection systems, beginning the challenging task of bringing a piece of Mars back to Earth.ARTICLE by Justin Davenport (@Bubbinski):
Two bots, one selfie. Greetings from Jezero Crater, where I’ve taken my first selfie of the mission. I’m also watching the #MarsHelicopter Ingenuity as it gets ready for its first flight in a few days. Daring mighty things indeed.Images: go.nasa.gov/2RaUBKF
Another huge first: converting CO2 into oxygen on Mars. Working off the land with what’s already here, my MOXIE instrument has shown it can be done! Future explorers will need to generate oxygen for rocket fuel and for breathing on the Red Planet.
April 21, 2021NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Extracts First Oxygen From Red PlanetThe milestone, which the MOXIE instrument achieved by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, points the way to future human exploration of the Red Planet.The growing list of “firsts” for Perseverance, NASA’s newest six-wheeled robot on the Martian surface, includes converting some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen. A toaster-size, experimental instrument aboard Perseverance called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) accomplished the task. The test took place April 20, the 60th Martian day, or sol, since the mission landed Feb. 18.While the technology demonstration is just getting started, it could pave the way for science fiction to become science fact – isolating and storing oxygen on Mars to help power rockets that could lift astronauts off the planet’s surface. Such devices also might one day provide breathable air for astronauts themselves. MOXIE is an exploration technology investigation – as is the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) weather station – and is sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.“This is a critical first step at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator STMD. “MOXIE has more work to do, but the results from this technology demonstration are full of promise as we move toward our goal of one day seeing humans on Mars. Oxygen isn’t just the stuff we breathe. Rocket propellant depends on oxygen, and future explorers will depend on producing propellant on Mars to make the trip home.”For rockets or astronauts, oxygen is key, said MOXIE’s principal investigator, Michael Hecht of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Haystack Observatory.To burn its fuel, a rocket must have more oxygen by weight. To get four astronauts off the Martian surface on a future mission would require approximately 15,000 pounds (7 metric tons) of rocket fuel and 55,000 pounds (25 metric tons) of oxygen. In contrast, astronauts living and working on Mars would require far less oxygen to breathe. “The astronauts who spend a year on the surface will maybe use one metric ton between them,” Hecht said.Hauling 25 metric tons of oxygen from Earth to Mars would be an arduous task. Transporting a one-ton oxygen converter – a larger, more powerful descendant of MOXIE that could produce those 25 tons – would be far more economical and practical.Mars’ atmosphere is 96% carbon dioxide. MOXIE works by separating oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules, which are made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. A waste product, carbon monoxide, is emitted into the Martian atmosphere.The conversion process requires high levels of heat to reach a temperature of approximately 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit (800 Celsius). To accommodate this, the MOXIE unit is made with heat-tolerant materials. These include 3D-printed nickel alloy parts, which heat and cool the gases flowing through it, and a lightweight aerogel that helps hold in the heat. A thin gold coating on the outside of MOXIE reflects infrared heat, keeping it from radiating outward and potentially damaging other parts of Perseverance.In this first operation, MOXIE’s oxygen production was quite modest – about 5 grams, equivalent to about 10 minutes’ worth of breathable oxygen for an astronaut. MOXIE is designed to generate up to 10 grams of oxygen per hour.This technology demonstration was designed to ensure the instrument survived the launch from Earth, a nearly seven-month journey through deep space, and touchdown with Perseverance on Feb. 18. MOXIE is expected to extract oxygen at least nine more times over the course of a Martian year (nearly two years on Earth).These oxygen-production runs will come in three phases. The first phase will check out and characterize the instrument’s function, while the second phase will run the instrument in varying atmospheric conditions, such as different times of day and seasons. In the third phase, Hecht said, “we’ll push the envelope” – trying new operating modes, or introducing “new wrinkles, such as a run where we compare operations at three or more different temperatures.”“MOXIE isn’t just the first instrument to produce oxygen on another world,” said Trudy Kortes, director of technology demonstrations within STMD. It’s the first technology of its kind that will help future missions “live off the land,” using elements of another world’s environment, also known as in-situ resource utilization.“It’s taking regolith, the substance you find on the ground, and putting it through a processing plant, making it into a large structure, or taking carbon dioxide – the bulk of the atmosphere – and converting it into oxygen,” she said. “This process allows us to convert these abundant materials into useable things: propellant, breathable air, or, combined with hydrogen, water.”More About PerseveranceA key objective of 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.NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.For more about Perseverance:https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/andhttps://www.nasa.gov/perseverance
MOXIE Being Installed in Perseverance: Technicians at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory lower the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) instrument into the belly of the Perseverance rover. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
After a two-hour warmup period, MOXIE began producing oxygen at a rate of 6 grams per hour. The was reduced two times during the run (labeled as “current sweeps”) in order to assess the status of the instrument. After an hour of operation the total oxygen produced was about 5.4 grams, enough to keep an astronaut healthy for about 10 minutes of normal activity.Credit: MIT Haystack Observatory
This 3D visualization is based on the images taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA's Perseverance rover
100 days (sols) on Mars, and feeling productive: ✅ Tested all cameras & instruments✅ Returned 75,000+ pics✅ Deployed #MarsHelicopter & captured its flights✅ Recorded sounds of Mars✅ Extracted oxygen from atmosphere✅ Started south to first exploration zone Onward.
Passed this boulder and took a closer look. Some of my team see similarities to volcanic rocks on Earth. Interesting stuff, but I’m on to more sedimentary types, where rock layers could better preserve any potential signs of ancient life. 🔍More: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/science/landing-site/
Skirting a boundary between rough rocks and soft dunes. Views from orbit teach us so much about Mars, but there’s nothing like being here and seeing for yourself. Latest images: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/multimedia/raw-images/
#SamplingMars update: first images show a sample in the tube after coring. But pics I took after an arm move are inconclusive due to poor lighting. I’m taking more photos in better light to confirm that we still have an intact core in the tube.Read more: https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9027/nasas-perseverance-rover-successfully-cores-its-first-rock/
Quote#SamplingMars update: first images show a sample in the tube after coring. But pics I took after an arm move are inconclusive due to poor lighting. I’m taking more photos in better light to confirm that we still have an intact core in the tube.Read more: https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9027/nasas-perseverance-rover-successfully-cores-its-first-rock/
I’ve got it! With better lighting down the sample tube, you can see the rock core I collected is still in there. Up next, I’ll process this sample and seal the tube. #SamplingMarsLatest images: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/multimedia/raw-images/
Collected:Next up: return to Earth for analyzation in a lab (assuming it gets selected for return)!
New rover selfie!Perseverance took this selfie on Sol 198 (Sept. 10, 2021) while at the Citadelle ridge in Jezero Crater. In the bottom left is Rochette, the rock Percy collected its first two samples from.Just a reminder that robots take selfies on another planet.
I mean, they're at the exact same place and it's only been two weeks, right? (Or am I misunderstanding the situation?)
They can just take an image that almost precisely replicates the lighting angle, no?
The images were taken in sets which cycle through similar times of day and similar lighting. If you pick your images carefully you will be able to find much better image pairs than this one, much easier to compare for change detection.
Quote from: meekGee on 10/19/2021 12:24 amI mean, they're at the exact same place and it's only been two weeks, right? (Or am I misunderstanding the situation?)You are right: exactly on the same place. Here's a link - "Hunkering Down for Solar Conjunction".Between sols 217-235 (September 28 – October 17) nobody could send new instructions to the rover. The Right Navigation Camera (Navcam) which took these photos remained in the same position, with the same settings, so when communications resumed, the first command to NavCam was "take the last picture again".I checked the settings for each frame - they were exactly the same: mastAz: "359.252", mastEl: "-47.682", scaleFactor: "1", xyz: "(181.559,-129.5,-1.72773)", subframeRect: "(2593,1793,1296,976)", dimension: "(1296,976)"Azimuth: "49 deg"Quote from: meekGee on 10/19/2021 12:24 amThey can just take an image that almost precisely replicates the lighting angle, no?No, the lightning angle can't be repeated exactly. Timestamps are different:- for September 27, 2021 (Sol 215) the local mean solar time was 10:55:56;- for October 16, 2021 (Sol 233) the local mean solar time was 17:00:20.
while you can match the solar elevation, the azimuth will be just a bit off.
Perseverance observes Solar Eclipse on Mars:
Related article: New water map of Mars will prove invaluable for future exploration
BLOG | August 31, 2022A Day Full of MOXIEWritten by Michael Hecht, Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) Principal Investigator at Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyToday, we published our first peer-reviewed, post-landing paper on MOXIE, detailing the seven oxygen generation runs we completed during Perseverance’s first year on Mars. We’ve made considerable progress since those first seven runs, completing run #11 this past weekend – and it turned out to be the most productive MOXIE run to date!This is the peak of the Martian winter, when cold nights and relatively high atmospheric pressures conspire to produce the highest air density of the year. The denser the air, the more CO2 MOXIE has to work with, and the more oxygen it can make. We’re always extremely cautious about designing runs for the irreplaceable flight model on Mars, but we pushed the envelope a little this time to briefly produce oxygen at a rate of nearly 10.5 grams per hour. If you were to double that, a human being could survive on it – it’s not a lot, but a record for us.We have a long way to go before being able to make the 2 to 3 kilograms per hour that will be needed to make the tens of tons of propellant to lift a human crew of four to six astronauts off the surface of Mars and into orbit – the main goal of future oxygen generation technology to succeed MOXIE. But that will require 25 kilowatts of power, and Perseverance only gives us 100 watts, so we’re doing fine. And we’re learning how to make the next MOXIE a lot more power efficient. Right now, we only use about 10% of our power to generate oxygen. The rest goes to running the compressor that collects the air, to our electronics, and to making up for heat loss from our 800 degrees Celsius electrolysis unit through the wires and tubes.In a full-scale version, we expect to use more like 90% of the power through a few simple changes, like running the compressor at lower pressure and designing a more efficient oven. I’d love to help build that unit, but one step at a time…
MOXIE Lowered into Rover: Technicians in the clean room are carefully lowering the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) instrument into the belly of the Perseverance rover. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
From ESA - Mars Express updatesQuote from: bolun on 08/23/2022 05:38 pmRelated article: New water map of Mars will prove invaluable for future explorationWater-rich minerals at Jezero CraterJezero crater and its surroundings on Mars display a rich array of minerals that have been altered by water in the planet’s past. These minerals are predominately clays and carbonate salts. Of the minerals identified in this particular region, carbonate is a salt, Fe/Mg phyllosilicates are iron- and magnesium-rich clays, and hydrated silica is a form of silicon dioxide that forms the gemstone opal on Earth. The close-up data were obtained from a global map of minerals produced by ESA’s Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in 2020, is currently exploring Jezero crater and its surroundings.https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2022/08/Water-rich_minerals_at_Jezero_CraterImage credit: ESA/Mars Express (OMEGA and HRSC) and NASA/Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (CRISM and HiRISE)
Yes indeed, but the carbonates near the crater rim are a later goal of the mission.
The rover did a quick survey at Enchanted Lake and the 'bacon strip' areas, then chose sites to sample. They sampled two places on the 'bacon strip' and are now heading back to Enchanted Lake to get that. Every tube is precious so they didn't sample at Enchanted lake initially until they were sure from their survey that it was important. Here is a mission blog about the return to Enchanted Lake and the bit of debris they were studying for a while.https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/status/397/perseverance-soon-heads-to-enchanted-lake/
NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover has arrived at an ancient delta in Jezero Crater, one of the best places on the Red Planet to search for potential signs of ancient life. The delta is an area where scientists surmise that a river once flowed billions of years ago into a lake and deposited sediments in a fan shape. Rachel Kronyak, a member of the Perseverance science operations team, guides the viewer through this Martian panorama and its intriguing sedimentary rocks. It’s the most detailed view ever returned from the Martian surface, consisting of 2.5 billion pixels and generated from 1,118 individual Mastcam-Z images. Those images were acquired on June 12, 13, 16, 17, and 20, 2022 (the 466th, 467th, 470th, 471st, and 474th Martian day, or sol, of Perseverance’s mission). In this panorama, an area called Hogwallow Flats is visible, as is Skinner Ridge, where two rock core samples were taken. The color enhancement in this image improves the visual contrast and accentuates color differences. This makes it easier for the science team to use their everyday experience to interpret the landscape. For more information on the Perseverance rover, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/perseverance.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
QuoteIn this panorama, an area called Hogwallow Flats is visible, as is Skinner Ridge, where two rock core samples were taken. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
In this panorama, an area called Hogwallow Flats is visible, as is Skinner Ridge, where two rock core samples were taken. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
Webcast for briefing on Thursday
Press release for today's briefing. https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9261/nasas-perseverance-rover-investigates-geologically-rich-mars-terrain/I listened to the briefing. Highlights:1) Delta materials contain organics and sulfates (the latter indicating salty water when deposits were made)2) After collecting two more pairs of samples and preparing one additional witness tube, Perseverance will deposit a sample cache of the one each of the paired samples plus witness tube(s)3) Perseverance will then continue exploring up the delta toward the crater rim for about a year. Hope to continue exploring beyond the rim.
2) After collecting two more pairs of samples and preparing one additional witness tube, Perseverance will deposit a sample cache of the one each of the paired samples plus witness tube(s)
Quote from: vjkane on 09/15/2022 06:49 pm2) After collecting two more pairs of samples and preparing one additional witness tube, Perseverance will deposit a sample cache of the one each of the paired samples plus witness tube(s)I know I saw an explanation of this a year or so ago, but I've forgotten. Can somebody explain what a witness tube is and what it is for?
Witness tubes are similar to the sample tubes that will hold Martian rock and sediment, except they have been preloaded with a variety of materials that can capture molecular and particulate contaminants. They are opened on the Martian surface to "witness" the ambient environment near sample collection sites. With samples returned to Earth in the future, the witness tubes would show whether Earth contaminants were present during sample collection. Such information would help scientists tell which materials in the Martian samples may be of Earth origin.
A kaleidoscope of grains to study🔬Unlike the 15 rock cores collected to date, 2 samples taken by @NASAPersevere are filled with broken rock & dust. Studying these could help teams design safer missions & equipment, especially for future Mars astronauts. go.nasa.gov/3YgdutY
NASA’s Perseverance Rover Gets the Dirt on MarsDec. 7, 2022The mission’s first two samples of regolith – broken rock and dust – could help scientists better understand the Red Planet and engineers prepare for future missions there.NASA’s Perseverance rover snagged two new samples from the Martian surface on Dec. 2 and 6. But unlike the 15 rock cores collected to date, these newest samples came from a pile of wind-blown sand and dust similar to but smaller than a dune. Now contained in special metal collection tubes, one of these two samples will be considered for deposit on the Martian surface sometime this month as part of the Mars Sample Return campaign.Scientists want to study Martian samples with powerful lab equipment on Earth to search for signs of ancient microbial life and to better understand the processes that have shaped the surface of Mars. Most of the samples will be rock; however, researchers also want to examine regolith – broken rock and dust – not only because of what it can teach us about geological processes and the environment on Mars, but also to mitigate some of the challenges astronauts will face on the Red Planet. Regolith can affect everything from spacesuits to solar panels, so it’s just as interesting to engineers as it is to scientists.Optimism, a full-scale replica of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover, tests a model of Perseverance's regolith bit in a pile of simulated regolith — broken rock and dust — at JPL.As with rock cores, these latest samples were collected using a drill on the end of the rover’s robotic arm. But for the regolith samples, Perseverance used a drill bit that looks like a spike with small holes on one end to gather loose material.Engineers designed the special drill bit after extensive testing with simulated regolith developed by JPL. Called Mojave Mars Simulant, it’s made of volcanic rock crushed into a variety of particle sizes, from fine dust to coarse pebbles, based on images of regolith and data collected by previous Mars missions.“Everything we learn about the size, shape, and chemistry of regolith grains helps us design and test better tools for future missions,” said Iona Tirona of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which leads the Perseverance mission. Tirona was the activity lead for operations to collect the recent regolith sample. “The more data we have, the more realistic our simulants can be.”The Challenge of DustStudying regolith up close could help engineers design future Mars missions – as well as the equipment used by future Martian astronauts. Dust and regolith can damage spacecraft and science instruments alike. Regolith can jam sensitive parts and slow down rovers on the surface. The grains could also pose unique challenges to astronauts: Lunar regolith was discovered to be sharp enough to tear microscopic holes in spacesuits during the Apollo missions to the Moon.Regolith could be helpful if packed against a habitat to shield astronauts from radiation, but it also contains risks: The Martian surface contains perchlorate, a toxic chemical that could threaten the health of astronauts if large amounts were accidentally inhaled or ingested.“If we have a more permanent presence on Mars, we need to know how the dust and regolith will interact with our spacecraft and habitats,” said Perseverance team member Erin Gibbons, a McGill University doctoral candidate who uses Mars regolith simulants as part of her work with the rover’s rock-vaporizing laser, called SuperCam.“Some of those dust grains could be as fine as cigarette smoke, and could get into an astronaut’s breathing apparatus,” added Gibbons, who was previously part of a NASA program studying human-robot exploration of Mars. “We want a fuller picture of which materials would be harmful to our explorers, whether they’re human or robotic.”Besides answering questions about health and safety hazards, a tube of Martian regolith could inspire scientific wonder. Looking at it under a microscope would reveal a kaleidoscope of grains in different shapes and colors. Each one would be like a jigsaw puzzle piece, all of them joined together by wind and water over billions of years.“There are so many different materials mixed into Martian regolith,” said Libby Hausrath of University of Nevada, Las Vegas, one of Perseverance’s sample return scientists. “Each sample represents an integrated history of the planet’s surface.”As an expert on Earth’s soils, Hausrath is most interested in finding signs of interaction between water and rock. On Earth, life is found practically everywhere there’s water. The same could have been true for Mars billions of years ago, when the planet’s climate was much more like Earth’s.More About the MissionA 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 about Perseverance:mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/
Two holes are left in the Martian surface after NASA's Perseverance rover used a specialized drill bit to collect the mission's first samples of regolith on Dec. 2 and 6, 2022. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover took this image of regolith — broken rock and dust — on Dec. 2, 2022. This regolith will be considered for deposit on the Martian surface as part of the Mars Sample Return campaign.
Optimism, a full-scale replica of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover, tests a model of Perseverance's regolith bit in a pile of simulated regolith – broken rock and dust – at JPL. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The drill bits used by NASA's Perseverance rover are seen before being installed prior to launch. From left, the regolith bit, six bits used for drilling rock cores, and two abrasion bits. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Not one to brag, but this is pretty momentous. By dropping this one tube to the ground, I’ve officially started setting aside samples that Mars Sample Return could bring back to Earth someday. Learn more:
https://twitter.com/nasapersevere/status/1605674209522249728QuoteNot one to brag, but this is pretty momentous. By dropping this one tube to the ground, I’ve officially started setting aside samples that Mars Sample Return could bring back to Earth someday. Learn more: https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9323/nasas-perseverance-rover-deposits-first-sample-on-mars-surface/
🔴🔴🔴🔴⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪Sample Depot: 40% complete!Another successful tube drop adds to my growing collection here at the “Three Forks” location. Four of the 10 tubes I’m leaving here as a backup set are down. More on my samples: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars-rock-samples/
As per my estimateshttps://twitter.com/chiragp87233561/status/1617360283298848768?s=20&t=Nr5g6520OkTNAuk62vBUOg
Nice sleuthing showing where all the sample tubes dropped so far are relative to the rover's recent position and ground trek:https://twitter.com/marsologbey/status/1618374060798513154
The full set, in one view! Check out my new panorama, featuring all 🔟 of the sample tubes I recently set down as a backup for #MarsSampleReturn. Trouble spotting them all? Improve your odds with this interactive viewer, and zoom in on the full image: