NASA Launches Mars Rover Perseverance
The Mars Rover Perseverance was launched on July 30th. It is expected to touch down on the surface of Mars on February 18, 2021. It will land in the Jezero crater.
Perseverance will investigate an astrobiologically relevant ancient environment on Mars and investigate its surface geological processes and history, including the assessment of its past habitability, the possibility of past life on Mars, and the potential for preservation of biosignatures within accessible geological materials.
It will cache sample containers along its route for retrieval by a potential future Mars sample-return mission.
The Mars 2020 mission was announced by NASA in 2012 at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
The Perseverance rover's design is derived from the Curiosity rover and will use many components already fabricated and tested, new scientific instruments and a core drill.