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The science team for the rover Perseverance yesterday released a revised map of where they intend over the next few months to send the rover on the floor of Jezero Crater.
The map to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, shows that route.
The first science campaign (depicted with yellow hash marks) begins with the rover performing an arching drive southward from its landing site to Séítah-North (Séítah-N). At that point the rover will travel west a short distance to an overlook where it can view much of the Séítah unit. The “Séítah-N Overlook” could also become an area of scientific interest – with Perseverance performing a “toe dip” into the unit to collect remote-sensing measurements of geologic targets.
Once its time at the Séítah-N Overlook is complete, Perseverance will head east, then south toward a spot where the science team can study the Crater Floor Fractured Rough in greater detail. The first core sample collected by the mission will also take place at this location. After Cratered Floor Fractured Rough, the Perseverance rover team will evaluate whether additional exploration (depicted with light-yellow hash marks) farther south – and then west – is warranted.
Whether Perseverance travels beyond the Cratered Floor Fractured Rough during this first science campaign, the rover will eventually retrace its steps. As Perseverance passes the Octavia B. Butler landing site, the first science campaign will conclude. At that point, several months of travel lay ahead as Perseverance makes its way to “Three Forks,” where the second science campaign will begin.
At that point the rover will begin studying the base of the delta of material that in the far past poured through a gap in the western rim of Jezero Crater.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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