After collecting a sample from Yori Pass, Perseverance will drive 745 feet (227 meters) southeast to a mega sand ripple. Located in the middle of a small field of dunes, the undulation – called “Observation Mountain” by the science team – will be where the rover will collect its first samples of regolith, or crushed rock and dust.
Learn more about the mission
A key focus of Perseverance’s mission to Mars is astrobiology, including caching samples that may contain 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 be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rocks and regoliths.
Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA, would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for further 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, which is managed for NASA by Caltech, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.
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