NASA celebrates rover's first Mars rock sample, but uncertainty lingers NASA is checking to see if the rock core is where it's supposed to be, or if another sample has disappeared.

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NASA is checking to see if the rock core is where it should have been, or if another sample has disappeared.

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This may be the first rock sample from the Perseverance rover from Mars. NASA hopes to bring it to Earth with a future mission.


it’s part of the story welcome to mars, our series Exploring the Red Planet.

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Success in the end? NASA’s Perseverance rover may have achieved a major first for its Mars mission by drilling and capturing a rock sample that could one day be brought back to Earth. But there is still some doubt.

The rover had previously attempted to collect the first sample, but in the end a empty tube when the rock crumbled. A second attempt from a different cliff looks promising. Raw images sent back from Mars show the rock core as expected, although we await official confirmation from NASA.

“The project just got its first core rock under its belt, and it’s an unprecedented achievement,” NASA project manager Jennifer Trosper said in a statement Thursday.

NASA shared a look at the sample on the same day, but was not yet ready to declare success, saying that photos taken after a one-handed trick designed to clear the lip of the tube are “inconclusive due to poor lighting.” The rover will snap a few more close-ups to find out what’s going on.

“Sampling Mars is underway. I’ve drilled into my rock target, and my team will be looking at more data and images to confirm whether we’ll be able to get and maintain an intact core.” Were,” rover team tweeted Earlier Thursday with a photo of Rock Target.

Persistence is equipped with 43 sample tubes, one of which is filled with Martian atmosphere since the first attempt. NASA is planning a future mission to retrieve the tubes from Mars and bring them back to Earth for study. It is the job of the rover to fill them with interesting geologic discoveries.

Successfully filling and enclosing a tube with Martian rock is an important step that will show that the sampling system is working properly. The target rock is named “Rochet” and the rover team spent time inspecting it by grinding away the outer surface a bit to make it look better before drilling.

Preliminary images of the rock and drill hole show what a clean operation would look like, so hopefully it went according to plan. NASA should have a better idea of ​​what’s happening in the tube once the images come back over the weekend. If the new images are inconclusive, the team can use a volume probe to examine the contents of the tube.

Persistence landed in February, but is still early in its mission to look for signs of ancient microbial life in Jezero Crater, an area once covered by a lake. The crater is now dry and dusty, but it has a lot of stories to tell. The first rock sample of Perseverance would be a chapter in that interesting story.

Follow Nerdshala’s 2021 space calendar to stay updated with all the latest space news this year. You can also add it to your own Google Calendar.

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