Perseverance rover: brownish terrain with part of rover in foreground and hills in background.
View larger. | View from the Perseverance rover of its own wheel tracks on Sol 381 of the mission (March 17, 2022). Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech.

Would you like to see an ancient Martian river delta up close? Soon you’ll be able to. NASA said, in March 2022, that its Perseverance rover has completed its current science campaign in Jezero Crater. The rover is now making a beeline for the primary goal of its mission: the river delta within the crater. An ancient Mars lake existed here, billions of years ago. So the sediments in the delta could contain traces of fossilized bacterial life, if such life ever existed on Mars.

The Mars rovers don’t travel very fast. They creep across Mars’ surface. Perseverance’s top speed lies at about 0.07 mph (0.12 kph). It began its 3-mile (5-km) journey to the delta on March 14, 2022.

But, given that the rovers move slowly, Perseverance isn’t wasting any time. The rover is traveling to the delta in a series of record-breaking…