Perseverance offered the first 360-degree panorama of the Jezero crater taken by Mastcam-Z, a pair of cameras with zoom aboard the rover. The panorama was joined to Earth from 142 independent images taken on the third day of the Mars mission (February 21, 2021).
Commented versions of this panorama include ladder bars and close-ups of rocks visible in the distance.
Arizona State University in Tempe operates Mastcam-Z in collaboration with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego.
A key goal of the Perseverance mission to Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s past geology and climate, pave the way for human exploration of the red planet, and become the first mission to collect and store Martian rocks and regolith (broken rocks and dust).
Subsequent NASA missions, in collaboration with ESA (European Space Agency), will send a spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and operated the March 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.
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