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Perseverance looks ahead, out of Jezero Crater

Panorama May 9, 2024, low resolution
Click for high resolution. Go here and here for original images.

Cool image time! The panorama above, recropped, reduced, and annotated to post here, was created from two pictures taken by Perseverance’s right navigation camera on May 9, 2024 (here and here). It looks almost due west, out the gap in the rim of Jezero Crater to the mountains beyond.

The blue dot in the overview map below marks Perseverance’s location when these photos were taken. The yellow lines indicate the approximate area covered by the panorama. The red dots indicate the rover’s planned route.

It is obvious this panorama was taken as part of the science team’s planning for Perseverance’s upcoming traverse across Neretva Vallis. The picture also gives us a nice view of the barren terrain found here in the dry tropics of Mars. There is no ice or water present anywhere, though the geology strongly suggests H2O in one form or another once shaped this landscape.

Nor is there any visible life. As much as NASA and many others devoutly wish to find some, I doubt any will be found. There is a very tiny chance the remains of long-gone microbiotic life might be found, but I wouldn’t bet much money on that either.
Overview map
Click for interactive map.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

One comment

  • It may very well be that life never took root on Mars. But if it ever did flourish there at any time, the likelihood is that microbial life descended into the rocks of the martian crust—precisely as it did on Earth. Once there, nothing but the destruction of the planet, or burning off of the entire crust, is likely to dislodge it.

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