On Tuesday NASA’s perseverance rover made a historic milestone as it collected the first-ever Rock sample from Mars. It has collected from a martian rock in the Jerezo Crater. This news has been officially confirmed by NASA.
The perseverance rover has made its second attempt to collect a rock on Mars since it was launched. This time it has succeeded in collecting the material. The photographs have been sent by the rover and it has been confirmed that the Rock is inside its tube. For now, the tube is sealed and during NASA’s subsequent expeditions to Mars, it will be collected.
The aim behind launching the perseverance rover was to find proof of the microbial life on the planet Mars along with some sophisticated tools on its turret. In February the rover landed on the Jerezo Crater, which is known to be the former lake bed for Mars. All the first attempt which was made in August to collect the sample was filled as the rover drilled the Rock in such a way that it became too crumbly. But this time it has safely collected the rock.
On September 1st the rover percussive drill at the tip of the robotic arm which measures up to 7 feet long cored into a flat, size of a briefcase rock, which is known as a Martian rock. This rock has been nicknamed a Rochette. After coring, the rover vibrated the drill bit and tube 5 times each for 1 second. This procedure was designed to clean the tip of the tube off residual material and the earth will also help to allow the sample to slide down the tube. This procedure is called “percuss to ingest”.
The rover also had a camera in it which is known as Mastcam-z. This camera helped to take a picture of the samples in the tube which was still unsold with a little bit of manoeuvring. It then transmitted the results back to earth. As the photograph was not so lit NASA released the statement that they thought the perseverance had successfully collected the sample but for the confirmation, they have to wait a couple more days for a clear photo to confirm that the sample which is slightly thicker than a pencil is inside the tube safely.
Today at 10:04 am IST, the rover transferred the martian cargo and sample tube serial number 266 into the interior of the rover. This was done to measure the rock core and to obtain an image. After this, the container was sealed and another image was obtained. Through a tweet, NASA confirmed the sample was safely inside the perseverance.
The tweet: “it’s official: I have now captured, sealed, and stored the first ko sample ever drilled on another planet in a quest to return samples to earth. It’s the first in a one-of-a-kind Martian Rock collection.”
According to some reports, it is known that the Rock is now inside an airtight sample tube made of titanium and it is ready to be retrieved in the upcoming time. The samples will be scientifically identified first and selected materials will arrive on Earth from Mars!
As a part of the Mars sample return campaign, NASA and ESA ( European Space Agency) will together launch future missions in a hope of bringing robust sample tubes to earth and study as a part of the campaign.
Even though Perseverance has achieved a big thing, NASA still has plans for the rover as NASA wants to characterize the Mars geology, like to study the past climate and to know the possibility of life on Mars using perseverance.