NASA’s Perseverance rover recovers first sample of Mars that could be returned to Earth – .

NASA’s Perseverance rover recovers first sample of Mars that could be returned to Earth – .

NASA’s Perseverance rover confirmed it: there is Martian rock in this tube!


NASA’s Perseverance rover, currently rolling around a dry lake bed on the surface of Mars, completed the critical first step of a decade-long mission to bring pieces of Mars back to Earth. On the 190th day of his mission “Percy”, as the rover is affectionately known, overcame previous sampling issues and tore a core of rock as thin as a pencil from the surface of Mars.

On September 1, the space agency announced that data had arrived from the Martian rover indicating that it had managed to get a core from a rock the size of a briefcase but the team wanted to be “safer” than it was. This added certainty would require taking pictures of the drilling rig with one of Percy’s cameras.

The first images sent back to Earth appeared to show that the rock had been successfully torn off. However, after an operation to vibrate the drill bit, a second set of images was taken. The sun, however, was not playing well with Percy. The lighting conditions were too bad to confirm exactly what was in the tube – and the team wanted to be doubly sure of that.

On Saturday, they made their wish come true.

Adam Steltzner, NASA’s chief engineer on the mission, tweeted his congratulations on Sunday. ” We understood, ” he wrote.

The first images show a rusty-red sediment that could be iron-rich minerals, according to Steven Ruff, a planetary geologist at Arizona State University and creator of the Mars Guy YouTube channel. Percy’s landing site in Jezero Crater was once home to a large body of water and his two sampling attempts are already revealing part of Mars’ geological history. “The two rock targets they interviewed are unlike anything we’ve seen elsewhere on Mars,” Ruff said.

The Successful Collection is Part 1 of the most elaborate and complex mail of all time.

Putting the Martian rock core in the sample tube is like placing a letter in an envelope. The next step is for Perseverance to process, seal and stamp this envelope and prepare it to be sent. Perseverance has 43 of these envelopes and can collect dozens of samples of various rocks.

Percy intends to leave his letter-tubes strewn across the surface of Mars for a postman to retrieve at a later date. The key issue here is: the factor hasn’t even been built yet.

NASA and the European Space Agency are planning to send a Martian lander and sample collection rover to the surface of Mars in 2026. The rover (our factor in this extended metaphor) will unroll, collect Percy’s tubes, and put them in his mail van – – a rocket bound for Earth. In early 2030, Percy’s mail will finally reach its intended recipient, provided everything goes as planned.


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