Perseverance Rover’s Early Adventures in Jezero Crater, Mars

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-26-2022


Mars, Crater, Jezero, Bacteria, Water


For decades, NASA has been exploring Mars with a fleet of spacecraft to understand the role of water in its history and look for areas that in the past could have supported life. This work has paved the way for the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, which landed on Feb 18, 2021 in Jezero Crater with the ambitious mission to search for evidence of ancient bacterial life and to collect rock samples for eventual return to Earth. In the short time since landing, Perseverance has already been hard at work testing out its new capabilities and getting to know its new home. From engineering checkouts to commissioning of capabilites to deploying Ingenuity (the Mars helicopter), to beginning her science journey. Each sol (what we call a day on Mars) has been packed with activities. Find out about her early adventures and challenges as she begins her exploration journey on Mars.

Streaming Media


Kim Steadman received both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech. After graduate school, Kim started her career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While at JPL, she has worked on several missions including the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn, the Mars Science Laboratory, and the Mars 2020 Rover. Currently Kim is a Systems Engineer for the Mars 2020 Rover and the Operations Lead for the SHERLOC instrument. As a systems engineer it is her job to enable science while keeping the rover safe and happy. In her job on the SHERLOC instrument she is helping to plan the scientific observations that the instrument is doing on Mars and she works with the engineering team to keep SHERLOC healthy. In 2015, Kim received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for her work on the Cassini Solstice Mission.

Dr. Sarah M. Milkovich is a planetary geologist and systems engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she currently works on the Mars Perseverance Rover. Sarah specializes in the science operations of robotic spacecraft, bridging the science and engineering teams. In this capacity, she has spent over 15 years exploring Mars and Saturn with a variety of spacecraft. Sarah has won JPL and NASA team awards for her efforts to return the best possible science within spacecraft engineering constraints, as well as for excellence in outreach and public engagement. She holds a B.S. in planetary science from Caltech, and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Brown University in planetary geology with studies of ice on Mars, and volcanoes on Mercury.