Abigail Allwood in Greenland

Abigail Allwood, principal investigator of the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover, is seen here examining rocks in Greenland. Allwood is a scientist based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

A key objective of the Perseverance mission to Mars is astrobiology, including looking for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the past geology and climate of the planet, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (shattered rock and dust).

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples on the surface and return them to Earth for further analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s approach to exploring the Moon to Mars, which includes Artemis missions to the moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the red planet.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, Calif., Built and manages the operations of the Perseverance rover.

To find out more about Perseverance: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/ and nasa.gov/perseverance

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