NASA's Perseverance rover begins 1st science campaign on Mars -
Jun 10, 2021 1 min, 12 secs

NASA's Perseverance rover has kicked off its highly anticipated science campaign with a Red Planet road trip.

But Perseverance and its systems are now pretty much up to speed, and Ingenuity has wrapped up its technology-demonstrating flight campaign and moved on to an extended mission that requires less support and supervision.

So the rover has begun to sink its teeth into its own science mission, which focuses on searching for signs of ancient Mars life and collecting samples for future return to Earth.

Related: NASA's Perseverance rover mission to Mars in photos.

(Trosper, previously deputy project manager for Perseverance, took the new job this week after former mission project manager Matt Wallace departed to become JPL's deputy director for planetary science.).

Perseverance will explore two distinct geological units within that patch — "Crater Floor Fractured Rough," which contains a lot of ancient, exposed bedrock, and "Séítah," which has bedrock as well but also boasts ridges and sand dunes, among other features.

"Starting with the Crater Floor Fractured Rough and Séítah geologic units allows us to start our exploration of Jezero at the very beginning," Hand said.

After wrapping up at Crater Floor Fractured Rough and Séítah, Perseverance will head back to its landing site, which the mission team named after famed sci-fi author Octavia E!

Perseverance is modeled heavily after NASA's Curiosity rover, which continues to explore Mars' Gale Crater today, nearly nine years after touching down in August 2012.

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