After celebrating their 1,000th sol, or Martian day, on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter are continuing to explore Jezero Crater on the Red Planet. Recently, the robotic pair completed their extensive investigation of the ancient river delta within Jezero, which contains evidence of flowing water that may have once filled Jezero thousands of years ago.
As part of its extensive investigation into the river delta, Perseverance routinely collects samples of the Martian surface, rocks, and other intriguing surface features. To date, the rover has collected a total of 23 surface samples as part of the joint NASA/European Space Agency Mars Sample Return mission. However, scientists get a preliminary look at the samples when Perseverance collects them, and they’ve already been able to decipher pieces of Mars’ geologic history from the samples.