Welcome to ‘Octavia E. Butler Landing’ on Mars

Perseverance Rover landing site. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has named the landing site of the agency’s Perseverance rover “Octavia E. Butler Landing,” after the science fiction author Octavia E. Butler. The landing location is marked with a star in this image from the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

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 in Tucson 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.

JPL built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

For more about Perseverance: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/