NASA to Brief Early Science Results From Perseverance Mars Rover

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Robotic Arm

This illustration depicts NASA’s Mars 2020 rover studying rocks with its robotic arm. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Panelists will discuss the rover’s recently started science campaign and groundwork for its next major milestone.

NASA will hold a virtual media briefing at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT) Wednesday, July 21, to discuss early science results from the agency’s Perseverance Mars rover and its preparations to collect the first-ever Martian samples for planned return to Earth.

The briefing will originate from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission is managed. It will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website and livestream on multiple agency social media platforms, including JPL’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

Briefing participants include:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science, NASA Headquarters
  • Jennifer Trosper, Perseverance project manager, JPL
  • Olivier Toupet, Perseverance enhanced navigation team lead, JPL
  • Ken Farley, Perseverance project scientist, Caltech
  • Vivian Sun, Perseverance science campaign co-lead, JPL

Members of the public also may ask questions on social media during the briefing using #AskNASA.

Perseverance landed in Jezero Crater on February 18. The rover team recently wrapped up an initial checkout period, which lasted 90 sols, or Martian days, and which included the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter test flight campaign. Perseverance kicked off the science phase of its mission on June 1.

A 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.

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 is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California.

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