The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission launched on July 30, 2020 and will land at Mars’ Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021. The rover is the most capable of its kind ever sent to the Red Planet; it will explore rocks that were formed more than three and a half billion years ago as a river flowed into Jezero Crater.
Not only will the rover enable the study of the rocks from Mars—including looking for hints of ancient life—it will collect more than 20 samples of rock and soil, which will be sealed and left on the surface for later return to Earth. Perseverance is the first step to collect the samples, and a future mission may bring samples back from Mars—with the ultimate goal of finding out if life ever evolved outside of the Earth.
Join planetary geology expert Chris Herd, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and returned sample scientist on the Perseverance mission, for the next installment of the Science Connects Webinar Series as he provides an overview of what the Mars rover is able to do and the main reasons why we want to bring samples back from Mars. Herd will also share why he became involved in the Mission and his ongoing role on NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission.
Talk is suitable for general audiences, targeted at ages 14+.