The Mars rover sent by NASA just completed its first sample grab and placed the first Mars rock in a tube for return to Earth. Known as the Perseverance rover, its team confirmed last week’s drilling and collection went successfully. NASA reviewed photos of the core sample and wanted to be certain the sample was safely in the titanium tube.
The first sampling attempt was done in early August but the sample collected unexpectedly crumbled. The Flight controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, searched for harder rock so the rover can collect it.
The Perseverance rover arrived at Mars in February and landed in Jezero Crater. The crater is a former lakebed and river delta and the rover will search for rocks that can find evidence of past Martian life. The rover has more than 40 sample tubes to use and has lots of time to collect rocks. A future spacecraft will collect the samples and bring them to Earth a decade from now.
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