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Travel Bug Dog Tag Mars Rover Perseverance

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Tuesday, 21 July 2020
Florida, United States
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Current GOAL


Artist's rendering of Perseverance on Mars

Geocaching and NASA head to Mars

with the Perseverance Rover


The Mars Perseverance rover mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The Mars Perseverance mission addresses high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, including key questions about the potential for life on Mars. 

Perseverance has four main science goals:

  • Determine whether life ever arose on Mars
  • Characterize the climate of Mars
  • Characterize the geology of Mars
  • Prepare for human exploration

Launch Window:

  • July 30 - August 15, 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida


  • February 18, 2021 in the Jezero Crater, Mars

For more information on Perseverance, please consult this Fact Sheet provided by NASA.

About This Item

Mars Rover

Thanks to the Mars 2020 SHERLOC instrument team at Johnson Space Center, the newest mission to Mars contains a tracking code, truly taking geocaching out of this world!

Calibration Target

The trackable code is specially printed on a one-inch, unique, glass disk that is part of the rover’s calibration target. Cameras and other tools on the rover use calibration targets to determine accurate colors, brightness, focus, and other information. This calibration target is specifically for the SHERLOC’s WATSON camera. The SHERLOC instrument is a spectrometer on the rover’s arm that uses laser light to classify minerals and look for organic compounds. WATSON, its sidekick camera system, is used for engineering, operations and science imaging on the surface of Mars.


How can I log this trackable if I’m not also going to Mars?


If you’re not blasting off anytime soon, don’t worry! You’ll still be able to log the Mars Rover starting around February 2021. Since the tracking code is on the WATSON camera’s calibration target, once Perseverance lands on Mars, the camera will take a picture of the tracking code itself and send that picture back to Earth. You can log the Rover by finding the code in that picture.

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