This illustration shows Jezero Crater — the landing site of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover — as it may have looked billions of years go on Mars, when it was a lake. An inlet and outlet are also visible on either side of the lake.

A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

Subsequent missions, currently under consideration by NASA in cooperation with the European Space Agency, would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these cached samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

这张图显示的是杰泽罗陨石坑——火星2020毅力号火星车着陆点——几十亿年前在火星上的样子,当时它还是一个湖。在湖的两边也可以看到一个入口和出口。

毅力号火星任务的一个关键目标是天体生物学,包括寻找古代微生物生命的迹象。火星车将描绘火星的地质和过去的气候特征,为人类探索这颗红色星球铺平道路,并将成为第一个收集和保存火星岩石和风化层(破碎的岩石和灰尘)的任务。

NASA目前正在与欧洲航天局合作,随后的任务将向火星发射航天器,从火星表面收集这些储存的样本,然后送回地球进行深入分析。

图片来源:NASA / JPL-Caltech

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