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Perseverance collects its first rock sample on Mars [Update: Maybe Not]

The torn surface of the cracked floor is covered with cracks, captured by SHERLOC WATSON on August 2.

Update 18:45 EDT: Oh oh. Bad news from NASA – the agency reported later Friday that the Perseverance caching system does not appear to store a sample of the rock after all. While initial telemetry from the rover showed that the sample had been processed, it looks like the probe tasked with measuring the sample in a test tube did not detect amo.there would be no pressure if the sample was present. “While this is not the ‘hole in one’ we hoped for, there is always the risk of opening up new horizons,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, assistant administrator for NASA’s Science Missions Office. in blog post… “I am confident that we have the right team working on this, and we will persist in pursuing a solution that will ensure future success.” As a first step in figuring out what might have gone wrong, the agency will survey the coring site with a Watson camera.

The original article is presented below.

Perseverance has collected a rock sample on Mars, the first of approximately 35 samples that will be set aside for a future collection and delivery mission to Earth. NASA Announces Successful Collection on Twitter this morning

If rock samples make it to Earth safely – Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s assistant science administrator, said they should arrive in the early 2030s – they are likely to reveal a wealth of information about Mars, including details of the planet’s geology, in the immediate vicinity. that scientists could only dream of before.

“I’ve been thinking about this day and preparing for it for almost 8 years now,” said Louise Jandura, chief sampling and caching engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Blog post… “It has been a long, arduous, challenging and exciting journey that has led to the sophisticated robotic equipment called Perseverance,” she added.

The selected rock was taken from the edge of the Martian crater Jezero, where a dried-up river delta protrudes from the ancient lake bottom. It was here that Perseverance landed abruptly in February with its towed Ingenuity helicopter, and both sophisticated vehicles have been swarming since then.

An artist's view from the 1990s of what a returned Mars sample might look like.

NASA outlined the steps required to retrieve the sample at a press conference late last month. First, the team on Earth chose a site to sample, Cracked Floor with Cracks, a rough patch of rock just under a mile from the landing site. The rover was then ordered to erase the surface of the rock – mostly scrape off the dirt – and drill through the rock, pulling out the core and setting it aside.

During the conference, NASA scientists were not sure if the rock was composed of volcanic or sedimentary rocks, which would require different geological processes to form – the first cooled, once liquid rock was erupted by volcanoes, and the second took the form of a permanent layering of sediments that in eventually compact, forming a rock formation. Nature informed today that the rocks appear to be erupted, according to scientists’ first glimpses of the rock taken by the WATSON Perseverance camera. The sample is now safely inside one of the Persistence vials.

As its mission continues, the rover will be busy collecting new samples. Next comes Séítah, a hilly ridge of sand dunes recently flown by an Ingenuity helicopter, and Raised Ridges, another nearby formation. Around the beginning of the year, the rover will head towards Three Forks, a river delta at the edge of a crater where scientists hope fossilized signs of life may be lurking.

MORE: What’s Next for NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover




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