September 19, 2021

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The persistent Mars probe collects the first sample of Mars dedicated to returning to Earth

The persistent Mars probe collects the first sample of Mars dedicated to returning to Earth

The sample tube appears to have been successfully filled with precious Martian rocks.

One of the main persistence missions on the red planet is to collect monsters. And now, on a frantic second attempt, it seems to have worked! The first data received indicates that the probe successfully drilled into the Martian rock and stuffed rock fragments into one of its sample tubes.

First failed attempt
A few weeks ago, the Perseverance team suffered a major setback. The four-wheeled robot car failed that Take a sample from the surface of Mars. Persevere in supplying rocks from an area in the Jezero Crater known as “Broken Crater”. Unfortunately, the first samples were not taken exactly according to plan. The data that Perseverance sent back to Earth showed that the sample tube it had brought with it remained empty. The tenacity of the rocks she later wanted to sample turned out to be very crumbly. The rocks instantly disintegrate into fine-grained powder and dust, making it impossible to store in a sample tube. With this, the first persistence sampling of the Mars rover was unfortunately unsuccessful.

Perseverance collected this prestigious beast A series of nearby hills overlooking the bottom of the Jezero Crater. The entire ridge is more than 900 meters long and contains impressive rock formations and boulders. Here the thief found an interesting stone called Rochette. Using a fast-spinning drill bit at the end of his six-foot-long robotic arm, Perseverance drilled a hole in the Rochette and attempted to take a sample a little thicker than a pencil.

The hole was drilled in the Rochette stone by perseverance. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Pictures
The first images produced by Mastcam-Z show that an intact sample has already ended up in the intended sample tube.

Sample tube with contents. It can be seen that there are rocks dug in it. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

However, with the failed first sampling attempt still on their minds, the team doesn’t dare celebrate too soon. Although additional photos were taken, unfortunately they are not very clear due to poor lighting conditions. Thus there is no choice but to create new images.

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new pictures
These new images will be obtained later today, when the sun is in a better position. Photos will also be taken after sunset to ensure there are no bright spots on the photos. While the researchers are quite confident that the rocks were collected this time around, they’d rather take the side of caution and wait for the final images before the perseverance formally seals the sample tube.

happy
The researchers are very pleased that everything so far indicates that the first Martian sample has been collected. “We got our first rock, which is a massive achievement,” team member Jennifer Trosper stated. “The team chose a good site, selected and excavated a rock of scientific value. We did what we came for.”

Ultimately, the researchers hope to fill all the sample tubes brought with them – at least 42 in total – with interesting samples from Mars. By sending it back to Earth, scientists hope to answer a number of pressing scientific questions — including, of course, this key question: Has life ever existed on Mars? Perseverance will prepare all tubes that are sealed tightly so that they can be used in the future Sample return task It can be returned to the ground easily.