A little detail on Percy that I didn’t see until just now... A little family portrait! Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance, all in a cute little graphical representation right on Percy’s back.
I’m literally crying again y’all, I fucking love these babies.
Allow us to reintroduce someone ... the name’s Perseverance.
With this new name, our Mars 2020 rover has now come to life! Chosen by middle school student Alex Mather, Perseverance helps to remind ourselves that no matter what obstacles we face, whether it's on the way to reaching our goals or on the way to Mars, we will push through. In Alex’s own words,
“We are a species of explorers, and we will meet many setbacks on the way to Mars. However, we can persevere. We, not as a nation but as humans, will not give up. The human race will always persevere into the future.”
Welcome to the family. ❤️
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.
(Image: Artist’s impression of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars)
Today NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars. I don’t usually talk astronomy on this blog, but this time it’s relevant because—as you might have read—Perseverance is more or less the first palaeontologist on Mars!
Let me explain.
(Image: Satellite topography map of Jezero Crater, the site where Perseverance landed)
The site where Perseverance is landing, Jezero Crater, is a meteor impact crater near Mars’s Equator (say that 10 times fast!). It has evidence of a delta—the geomorphic feature that occurs when running water enters a large body of water. Orbital analyses also suggest it’s filled with carbonate rock—the kind that tend to deposit at the bottom of bodies of water.
Jezero Crater is not filled with water today. But the evidence strongly suggests it once was. If we’re going to find evidence of life on Mars, this is a good place to start looking.
When you think of fossils, most people think of giant T. rex skeletons, or frozen woolly mammoths, or neanderthal skulls. Maybe you’ve been around the block a bit, and you think about corals, or plant fossils, or tiny fossil shells. But some of the most common and important fossils on Earth are even tinier. Microbial fossils are commonly made by bacteria, archaea, and the like.
(Image: A cross-section of a stromatolite fossil, showing the multiple layers)
Some of the earliest fossils on earth are called stromatolites. They occur when bacterial colonies grow together in a mat—then, over time, sediment deposits over the colony, and the bacteria form another layer on top of the previous layer. Over time, many layers can be formed.
(Image: Helium Ion Microscopy image of iron oxide filaments formed by bacteria)
Although we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, many microbes are not quite so restricted, and can breathe anything from sulphur to iron to methane or ammonia. When they do this, they often leave behind solid waste products, such as the above iron oxide filaments, that give away their presence. We can tell these apart from normal minerals in a number of ways, including by the relative proportions of different isotopes in them.
(Image: Schematic digram showing how molecular fossils form and are studied)
However, some of the most important fossils are molecular fossils. Living organisms produce a variety of different organic molecules; even long after the bodies of these organisms decay, those molecules can stay behind in an altered form for millions or even billions of years. If we’re looking for evidence of life on Mars, this might be our best bet.
(Image: Diagram of Perseverance rover showing different instruments)
The Perseverance rover is overall similar in design to the Curiosity rover that landed in 2012, but there are some key differences—and most relevant here is that it’s a geological powerhouse. It’s got a number of instruments designed to carry out detailed geologic investigations:
RIMFAX is a ground-penetrating Radar unit. Like normal Radar, it works by sending radio waves into the ground; different materials affect the radio waves differently, as do transitions between different materials. This will allow us to, for the first time, study the geology of Mars below the surface to get an idea of what has been going on down there.
(Image: This is the kind of result produced by ground-penetrating radar—a rough image of the stratigraphy below the surface.)
PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) shoots x-rays at samples and examines how they fluoresce in reaction. This allows for the detection of the elemental composition of a sample—helping us better understand the geology of the area, and potentially detect signatures of life.
SuperCam is a multi-function laser spectrometer that uses four different spectroscopy methods to examine the composition of samples. They all work in similar ways—essentially, different molecules react to laser stimulation differently, and different amounts of energy are required to make different molecules vibrate. The way that these molecules react can help us identify their composition, and the hope is that this may allow us to detect molecular fossils (these methods allow us to detect molecular fossils on Earth!)
SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) is another spectroscopic instrument—this one, however, is more precise, and optimised for detecting trace biosignatures in samples. It works similar to the above, using an ultraviolet laser to scan a 7 × 7 mm zone for evidence of organic compounds.
In addition to studying samples in situ, Perseverance will package small samples and leave them behind on Mars. A planned future mission will collect these packaged samples and launch them into space, where an orbiter will collect them and—hopefully—return them to Earth. This would be the first time that samples have ever been recovered from Mars, and would go a long way in increasing our understanding of the Martian environment and geology.
There’s no way of knowing yet what Perseverance will find—but even the fact that a robot palaeontologist is on Mars is incredibly exciting. Here’s to many years of discovery!
well i got tired of inking my fan comic (brotherhood twist comic, ;U; i am making progress with it yay) so to rest for a while i started doodling these!
first: the other fallen children, Perseverance doesn’t have striped shirt because the first time i drew them i forgot to put that and i just kept it that way.
B) is W.D. Gaster, i got confused with the way i drew him and i know fan gamer tarot cards are not canon but i wanted to like, mix that design with the in-game sprite of mystery man so i could get something more consistent..XD i still like goop gaster lol .
3) some Underswap skelebros doodles, i kinda like the concept of this AU, and is one of the few AUs i like XD hehe, Underswap by @popcornpr1nce
7 Things to Know about the Perseverance Mars Rover
We’re set to launch the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on July 30. The rover is loaded with scientific instruments and advanced technology, making it the largest, heaviest and most sophisticated vehicle ever sent to the Red Planet.
What is Perseverance’s mission and what will it do on Mars? Here are seven things to know:
1. Perseverance draws on the NASA – and scientific – spirit of overcoming challenges
Not only does it have to launch during a pandemic and land on a treacherous planet, it has to carry out its science goals:
Searching for signs of past microbial life
Mapping out the planet’s geology and climate
Collecting rock and other samples for future return to Earth
Paving the way for human exploration
We chose the name Perseverance from among the 28,000 essays submitted during the "Name the Rover" contest. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the months leading up to the launch in particular have required creative problem solving, teamwork and determination.
2. Perseverance builds on the lessons from other Mars rovers
In 1997, our first Mars rover – Sojourner – showed that a robot could rove on the Red Planet. Spirit and Opportunity, which both landed in 2004, found evidence that Mars once had water before becoming a frozen desert.
Curiosity found evidence that Mars’ Gale Crater was home to a lake billions of years ago and that there was an environment that may have sustained microbial life. Perseverance aims to answer the age-old question – are there any signs that life once existed on Mars?
3. Perseverance will land in a place with high potential to find signs of ancient life
The rover will land in Jezero Crater, a 28-mile wide basin north of the Martian equator. A space rock hit the surface long ago, creating the large hole. Between 3 and 4 billion years ago, a river flowed into a body of water in Jezero the size of Lake Tahoe.
4. Perseverance will also collect important data about Mars’ geology and climate
Mars orbiters have collected images and other data about Jezero Crater from about 200 miles above, but finding signs of past life will need much closer inspection. A rover like Perseverance can look for those signs that may be related to ancient life and analyze the context in which they were found to see if the origins were biological.
5. Perseverance is the first leg of a round trip to Mars
This is the first rover to bring a sample-gathering system to Mars that will package promising samples of rocks and other materials for future return to Earth. NASA and ESA are working on the Mars Sample Return campaign, so we can analyze the rocks and sediment with tools too large and complex to send to space.
6. Perseverance will pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet
Two packages -- one that helps the rover autonomously avoid hazards during landing (TRN) and another that gathers crucial data during the trip through Mars’ atmosphere (MEDLI2) – will help future human missions land safely and with larger payloads on other worlds.
There are two instruments that will specifically help astronauts on the Red Planet. One (MEDA) will provide key information about the planet’s weather, climate and dust activity, while a technology demonstration (MOXIE) aims to extract oxygen from Mars’ mostly carbon-dioxide atmosphere.
7. You get to ride along
Perseverance and other parts of the Mars 2020 spacecraft feature 23 cameras, which is more than any other interplanetary mission in history. Raw images from the camera are set to be released on the mission website.
There are also three silicon chips with the names of nearly 11 million people who signed up to send their names to Mars.
And you can continue to follow the mission on Twitter and Facebook.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com
Don't feel exasperated, or defeated, or despondent because your days aren't packed with wise and moral actions. But get back up when you fail, celebrate behaving like a human — however imperfectly — and fully embrace the pursuit that you've embarked on.
Today we celebrate the mission that piqued our curiosities, and drove NASA’s perseverance to pursue further exploration of the Red Planet.
The Sojourner rover landed on July 4, 1997, after hitching a ride aboard the Mars Pathfinder mission. Its innovative design became the template for future missions. The rover, named after civil rights pioneer Sojourner Truth, outlived its design life 12 times.
This panoramic view of Pathfinder's Ares Vallis landing site shows Sojourner rover is the distance.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com