A Tale of Turquoise Bay: Sampling Unique Bedrock at the Margin Unit

The Mars 2020 group has been exploring a brand new space of the Margin Unit at Jezero Crater, the place distinct carbonate signatures have been noticed from orbit. Importantly, carbonates that kind in rocks can retailer a file of the local weather throughout formation, and so they also can protect biosignatures (residues of historical life).

Perseverance is on its strategy to a very attention-grabbing area of the Margin Unit, often called Jurabi Level, the place three rock models seem to intersect. These totally different rock varieties are often called the Higher Fan sedimentary rocks, the Boulder-rich Unit, and, with its distinctive carbonate signature, the Margin Unit. Apparently, the signatures of carbonate minerals which are seen from orbit look like strongest close to our present location. A rock core pattern at this location could comprise carbonate minerals and due to this fact serves as a consultant pattern for the Margin Unit marketing campaign.

As a part of the continued investigation of the rocks within the space, Perseverance lately carried out an abrasion patch on a big slab of bedrock at Turquoise Bay. The abrasion patch right here floor by way of a thick mud layer and revealed attention-grabbing and distinctive textures and options within the contemporary bedrock! The Mars 2020 group has been fastidiously analyzing these rocks and has been evaluating and contrasting the options right here with earlier rock cores which were collected.

The bedrock at Turquoise Bay was deemed distinctive and worthy for assortment of a drilled core pattern and a rock core was efficiently collected by Perseverance. Mastcam-Z pictures of the core confirmed that it was efficiently acquired, and the core is now within the strategy of being sealed for eventual return to Earth.

Over the following few Sols, Perseverance will conduct distant sensing science on the drill core tailings since they’ll present perception into the potential composition of rock contained in the drill core. After sampling wraps up, we are going to full the drive to Jurabi Level the place Perseverance will use distant and proximity science to analyze rocks at greater ranges within the Margin Unit.


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