The Perseverance rover has successfully cored a Mars rock sample, according to Nasa. Rock samples from Mars can provide insights into microbial life on the planet and reveal more about its climate and geological history.
The Perseverance rover has successfully cored a Mars rock sample, according to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa).
The Nasa rover exploring Mars submitted data capturing its successful attempt on Wednesday. The initial images showed an intact sample in the collection tube after coring.
However, additional images taken after sample acquisition were inconclusive due to poor sunlight conditions. Another round of images with better lighting will be taken before the sample processing continues, Nasa said.
#SamplingMars update: first images show a sample in the tube after coring. But pics I took after an arm move are inconclusive due to poor lighting. I’m taking more photos in better light to confirm that we still have an intact core in the tube.
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) September 2, 2021
Although previous attempts at sampling Martian rocks have failed to harvest as a result of the sample breaking, officials are confident that the rover has captured sediment fragments this time.
HOW DOES PERSEVERANCE COLLECT SAMPLES?
The Perseverance rover drilled into a rock about the size of a briefcase. The rock was part of a half-mile-long ridgeline full of boulders and rock outcrops.
The rover collects samples with a rotary percussive drill that runs a seven-foot robotic arm that extracts samples and collects them in a tube slightly thicker than a pencil.
“The project got its first cored rock under its belt, and that’s a phenomenal accomplishment,” said Jennifer Trosper, project manager at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
She continued, “The team determined a location, and selected and cored a viable and scientifically valuable rock. We did what we came to do.”
Rock samples from Mars can provide insights into the microbial life on the planet and reveal more about its climate and geological history. Earlier, Nasa’s Mars missions have found new information about the core of the planet based on seismic data.