Perseverance, the rover robot commissioned by the US Aerospace Agency for Mars, was able to take a sample from the Red Planet in the second attempt.
NASA’s Perseverance rover landed in Mars’ Jezero Crater in February. It began its mission in a deep pit 45 km wide, about 20 degrees north of the Martian equator. According to scientists, this place may have been a lake billions of years ago. As such, they speculate that Jezero’s sediments may contain traces of ancient microbial life.
The Mars rover then traveled 2 km from its landing position and reached a slightly elevated hill they called the Citadelle. Because the mobile robot is trying to get a rock sample from here.
Perseverance collected the rock sample
NASA announced that Perseverance took a rock sample from Mars on the second try. In August, the traveler also took a rock sample, but the photographs showing the tube did not show any samples. NASA scientists speculate that the robot collected the rock sample, but the pulverized sample fell onto the ground around the borehole.
In the photo shared by NASA, we see that the robot successfully drilled a hole.
Now NASA scientists are confident. According to the latest data, the drill of the Perseverance navigator pierced a thick layer called “Rochette”. Images that arrived in the past few days showed that a rock sample had been safely collected.
In this image, we see that the rover has successfully placed the rock sample into the tube.
If the mobile robot is successful this time, it will be a first. So it will be the first rock sample from another planet. But before the robot seals the tube in which it stores the sample, it has to take and send a new photo. Previously, the robot sent photos, but new images are required for verification. NASA is eagerly awaiting these photos.
Perseverance is also tasked with collecting dozens of rock samples over the next year. These samples will then be brought home ten years later, through a joint effort of the USA and Europe.