Perseverance Arrived At An Ancient River Delta
After traversing three miles over about 31 Martian days, NASA has announced that the Perseverance rover has arrived at the ancient river delta in Jezero Crater. The rover arrived at the River Delta on April 13. The name for the area is “Three Forks.”
The river delta is the staging area for the second science expedition Perseverance will perform called the Delta Front Campaign. NASA believes the river delta is one of the best locations on the entire Martian planet to discover signs of past microscopic life.
The Delta is an extensive fan-shaped collection of rocks and sediment at the western edge of the crater. It was formed where a Martian river and lake met billions of years ago. Mission scientists expect to find fine-grained sediment deposited at the base, hopefully with signs of ancient life.
The rover will use its drill and robotic arm to collect samples. The rover will also collect rock samples that will be returned to earth for study in the future.
“Weve been eyeing the delta from a distance for more than a year while we explored the crater floor,” said Ken Farley, Perseverance project scientist at Caltech in Pasadena. “At the end of our fast traverse, we are finally able to get close to it, obtaining images of ever-greater detail revealing where we can best explore these important rocks.”