NASA Rover First Rock Sample from the Mars is ready for analysis back on earth. The newest Mars rover perseverance rover team on Monday confirmed successful drilling and collection, after reviewing photos of the core sample. NASA wanted to be certain the sample was safe inside the titanium tube and brought to earth.
NASA chief and former astronaut Bill Nelson hailed it as “a momentous achievement.” The space agency plans to collect as many as 43 mineral samples over the next few months from the floor of Jerezo Crater, a wide basin where scientists think water flowed and microbial life may have flourished billions of years ago.
NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA, would send spacecraft to Mars to collect Perseverance’s sealed samples from the surface and bring them to Earth for in-depth analysis.
A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and collect and cache the first samples of Martian rock and regolith.
NASA Rover Chief says – a momentous achievement
The six-wheeled, SUV-sized vehicle is also expected to explore walls of sediment deposited at the foot of a remnant river delta once etched into a corner of the crater and considered a prime spot for study. Mineral collection is the heart of the $2.7 billion Perseverance project.
During Perseverance’s first sampling attempt in early August, the unexpectedly soft rock crumbled. Flight controllers at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, sought out harder rock for the second try.
Perseverance arrived in February at Mars’ Jezero Crater — a former lakebed and river delta — in search of rocks that could contain evidence of past Martian life. Future spacecraft will collect the specimens and deliver them to Earth a decade from now. The rover has more than 40 sample tubes.
The Mars science rover Perseverance collected and stashed away the first of numerous mineral samples that the U.S. space agency is aiming retrieve from the surface of the Red Planet for analysis on Earth.
Tools attached to Perseverance and operated by mission specialists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles drilled a rock core slightly thicker than a pencil from an ancient Martian lake bed, then hermetically sealed it in a titanium specimen tube inside the rover.