The first event to occur when Curiosity or Perseverance arrived at Mars was the separation of the cruise stage. What were the ultimate destinations of the cruise stages?

  • Continuing on in space? (where?)
  • Burning up in the atmosphere?
  • Crashing to the surface? (where?)

They ended up on Mars. I don't know if the Perseverance cruise stage impact site has yet been imaged, but Curiosity's has been. I believe that the two impacts near each other in the RH side of the image there are from balance masses, while the two other impacts (so the extreme left and extreme right ones) are two bits of the cruise stage which is assumed to have come to bits in the atmosphere. There are a bunch of smaller impacts as well which I think are thought to be debris from the cruise stage when it came apart. However this is mostly just from reading the description!

I'd be interested in images of Perseverance's cruise stage impact sites as well: if anyone knows of them please either edit this answer or add another one.


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