NASA’s Perseverance Rover To Explore Fossils on Mars

NASA's Perseverance
Photo : ESA & MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

NASA's Perseverance rover will reach Mars on February 18th, 2021. The rover will then scan for fossils on the red planet. It'll use advanced scientific instruments to scan the surface. This will explore any sign of microscopic life. The rover will also explore Jezero Crater, which once supported flowing water.

The rover will use a Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL). The instrument is located on its 2-meter arm. It will also use a coring drill to obtain samples., which will be recovered by future missions.

The rover connects PIXL to its robotic arm. It does this using six mechanical legs. The precision X-ray finds the best targets to study. The arm uses AI to get accurate scans on the surface. PIXL's X-ray can identify small particles on the surface. This allows NASA to tie chemicals to specific textures. The hexapod comprises six mechanical legs. It extends its legs on specific rock targets. 

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NASA's Perseverance  will assess rock textures and determine which ones are of interest. It will then use the PIXL to gauge the distance. This is done using a camera and laser. The hexapod will make movements for the device to scan. Meanwhile, the PIXL instrument will scan the rocks for about nine hours, thus producing a chemical map of the rock's surface. NASA's Perseverance will operate at night. This is because of extreme temperatures on Mars. The changes in temperature cause expansion and contraction. 

Mars Exploration Program

The rover will characterize Mar's geology and climate. This will create room for human exploration. The mission will leave samples in a cache. They'll then be returned in a future mission. Future missions will involve a rover, lander, and orbiter.

NASA's Perseverance is part of the Mars Exploration Program. It's also part of NASA's astrobiology, which is concerned with the potential for life's existence beyond Earth. The goal is to find molecular fossils on Mars. 

NASA's Perseverance will seek the signs of life on Mars. This will advance the Mars Exploration Program. Mars Exploration Program seeks to understand the early evolution of Mars. This will provide information on the geological processes that took place. It will also provide information on the potential for life on Mars. Maybe Mars hosted life at some point. The goal is to explore habitability on the Red Planet. NASA's Perseverance marks a major achievement in space exploration. 

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The Mars Exploration Program has four main goals. They include life, climate, geology, and humans. The first goal is to determine if Mars ever supported life. This goal is divided into two objectives. The first objective is to find evidence of past life. The second objective is to find evidence of extant life. Both objectives are concerned with habitability.

The second goal is concerned with the climate on Mars. Scientists want to understand how climate evolved on Mars. The third goal seeks to understand the geology of Mars. This involves the geology of the interior and surface of Mars. The last goal is human exploration. This involves robotic flight missions to Mars.

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