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Perseverance: Nasa rover begins key drive to find life on Mars

Perseverance: Nasa rover begins key drive to find life on Mars

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Tuesday will see the six-wheeled robot begin the climb up an ancient delta feature in the crater where it landed.

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It will roll uphill, stopping every so often to examine rocks that look to have the best chance of retaining evidence of past life on the planet.

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On its way back down, Perseverance will collect some of these rocks, placing the samples at the base of the delta to be retrieved by later missions.

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The goal is to bring this material back to Earth in the 2030s for detailed inspection.

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"The delta in Jezero Crater is the main astrobiology target of Perseverance," said deputy project scientist, Dr Katie Stack Morgan.

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The rover made its spectacular landing in the middle of Mars' 45km-wide Jezero Crater on 18 February last year.

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