The search for signs of ancient Martian life has begun! Perseverance is getting ready to collect its first-ever sample of Martian rock, which future planned missions will transport to Earth. The six-wheeled astrobiologist and geologist is searching for a scientifically interesting target in a part of Jezero Crater called the “Cratered Floor Fractured Rough.”
This important mission milestone is expected to begin within the next two weeks. Perseverance landed on Mars Feb. 18, and the rover is now exploring a 1.5-square-mile patch of crater floor that may contain Jezero Crater’s deepest and most ancient layers of exposed bedrock.
Perseverance is the first step in our Mars Sample Return campaign. Subsequent missions, now in development in cooperation with ESA (the 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.
Countdown to Launch – We’re inviting social media users to register for a global virtual NASA Social for Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2. This is the second uncrewed flight test of the Starliner spacecraft, targeted for July 30. Seize the opportunity to blog, tweet, Instagram or simply share everything about the mission!
Humans in Space – This week, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour, with four Crew-2 astronauts aboard, undocked from the forward-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module. It relocated to the module’s space-facing port, making room for the arrival of Boeing’s Starliner.
A Tribute to an American Legend – As a founding member of our human spaceflight program, former NASA astronaut John Glenn propelled humanity into the stars. Now, 100 years after his birth, we invite you to explore his life and legacy through photos in a special feature.
Monitoring Earth’s Vital Signs – In a new, first-of-its-kind study, scientists found that tropical forests’ ability to absorb carbon dioxide is waning due to large-scale deforestation, habitat degradation, and climate change effects.
Next-Generation Solar Power – A design for high-efficiency, deployable solar arrays is now being used by industry to power telecommunications satellites. This technology could one day power surface operations on the Moon and Mars.