Close-Up of Perseverance Heat Shield on the Martian Surface

location of heat shield on Mars
February 22, 2021
CreditNASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
  • english

The High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was able to capture this image of the final location of the heat shield that helped protect NASA’s Perseverance rover during its landing on the surface of Mars. The image was taken on Feb. 19, 2021.

It is a close-up version of a larger image showing several parts of the Mars 2020 mission landing system that got the rover safely on the ground, Perseverance and Mars 2020 Spacecraft Components on the Surface.

These close-ups of Mars 2020 hardware were processed to make them easier to see.

MRO’s mission is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver, built the spacecraft. The University of Arizona provided and operates HiRISE.

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 NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

For more about Perseverance: