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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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