SHERLOC Geocoin Artwork

A round coin with a striped border, with letters and symbols to assist in adjusting the SHERLOC instrument.
February 26, 2021
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This artwork is printed on one of the 10 samples that make up a suite of calibration targets for the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument on the Mars Perseverance rover. SHERLOC needs calibration targets to hone the performance of its spectrometers and cameras.

SHERLOC will help mission scientists hunt for clues in the search for past microbial life of Mars. This calibration target features several references to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, from his London street address to the “dancing man” code, ready to be deciphered by Earth-based sleuths.

The designs on this target are made by coating opal glass with a layer of chrome. Covering the opal glass is a layer of polycarbonate material, which is used to make the visors for spacesuits. Over time, SHERLOC’s cameras will document changes in the polycarbonate after prolonged exposure to the Martian environment, which could help improve space suit helmets.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and manages operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.

For more information about the mission, go to: