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Perseverance’s first climb

Perseverance's first climb
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, was taken by the high resolution camera on the Mars rover Perseverance on June 16, 2022, shortly after it began its first climb up from the generally flat floor of Jezero crater and onto the delta that once in the far past flowed through a gap into that crater.

I have rotated the image about 8.5 degrees to make horizontal the crater floor and the distant rim of the crater (barely visible through the atmosphere’s thick winter dust). This shows that the rover was then climbing what appears to be a relative low angle grade, hardly as challenging as the serious grades that Curiosity has been dealing with now for the past two years in the foothills of Mount Sharp. Nonetheless, Perseverance has begun climbing.

To see where the rover is see the overview map from the start of this week. Unfortunately, I have been unable to determine the direction of this photo. It could be looking west, south, or east, based on features inside Jezero Crater. I therefore cannot tell you the distance to the rim, which depending on the direction, could be from five to twenty-five miles away.


Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


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  • Jeff

    I think the photo is looking just south of east, back towards Ingenuity’s location. I can’t prove it, but from the other recent images and the slope of the foreground, that direction feels right.

    Martian cartographer Phil Stooke creates circular projection of the nav cam images to aid in his mapping efforts. North is always up and he stretches the view a bit to exaggerate relief. First looks are deceiving, but with a little mental gymnastics you can make sense. Here is one from Sol 474.

    Using this projection and your image I can make out the two large rocks on the near slope close to the 95-100 degree angle.

    The photo you highlighted was taken on Sol 470 by Mastcam-Z Left camera. I don’t believe there was much traversing during the 4 Sols, so viewing angles should be the same.

    See Jim Bell’s filename decoding page –

    There was some past chatter about retrieving azimuth pointing information buried in the image data, but I can’t find it at the moment.

    Always enjoy the cool images you post. Thanks.

  • Jeff


    I did some more digging and found this great page:

    After a little experimenting by choosing Sol 470 and Left Mastcam-Z brought up the (long) list of images taken with that camera. Scrolling down I found the image. But I could have narrowed the search quickly by simply using the file name. (duh)

    The best part of this site is the metadata for each pic is available by clicking on the right side column. Below is a copy of the last half of the info shown on the image in question. Note the next to last line.

    caption: “NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Left Mastcam-Z camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover’s mast.\n\nThis image was acquired on June 16, 2022 (Sol 470) at the local mean solar time of 12:50:38.”,
    sample_type: “Full”,
    date_taken_mars: “Sol-00470M12:50:38.459”,
    credit: “NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU”,
    date_taken_utc: “2022-06-16T15:42:10.099”,
    json_link: “”,
    link: “”,
    drive: “756”,
    title: “Mars Perseverance Sol 470: Left Mastcam-Z Camera”,
    site: 26,
    date_received: “2022-06-20T11:11:20Z”,
    idx: 345,
    Azimuth: “98 deg”,
    selected: true

    Hope this helps you in the future.

  • Jeff: Thank you for your detective work. The rkinnett site is nicely done, but it doesn’t provide me with any information I already didn’t have, using NASA’s raw archive.

    Stooke’s circular projections however might be of some help, though I need to see if the scale of his projections can be adjusted.

    What is really needed is something I do not expect the science team to provide. Nor do I blame them. What is needed is a context overhead view showing the direction the camera was pointed with each photo. A simple center line would work.

    I don’t expect it because the science team knows this already, and has more important things to do than add it to their workload.

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