NASA has named the landing site of its Perseverance Mars rover after the science fiction author Octavia Butler. Therefore, the location of the rover's touchdown site is now being called Octavia E. Butler Landing. The rover was launched on July 30 last year from the Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US state of Florida. It reached Mars on February 18 after a 203-day journey.
A key objective for Perseverance's mission on Mars is astrobiology including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will study the planet's geology and past climate, which will eventually pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. It is also the first NASA mission that is designated to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith broken rock and dust.