NASA’s Rover Successfully Collects First Mars Rock Sample

Sep, 2021 - By SMI

NASA’s Rover Successfully Collects First Mars Rock Sample

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover successfully drilled first rock sample of Mars, according to the team.

After first failed attempt on August 5 to collect a drill sample, NASA has now released an image that shows Perseverance Mars rover successful in retrieving its first drilled rock sample. The image was taken by Mastcam-Z camera on September 01 and demonstrated a pencil-thick core in the sample tube held by the drill bit. However, the team emphasised on the fact that more data is required before declaring the sampling run a success.

In the first attempt, Perseverance made use of the drill assembly on its robotic arm. It bore into a polygonal rock named Roubion. The team was hoping for it to be the sample of the oldest rock in the crater that was being traversed by the rover. Further test found the drill to be empty. The team considers that the dropped core incident was caused because of rotary-percussion drilling. The sample was maybe disintegrated into sand or dust before it was collected in the sample tube. As the team was uncertain of cause of the failure, it decided to move to a different region to drill again. The rover drove 1493 feet that is 455 meters to a ridge named Citadelle. The rock that occurs at the spine of Citadelle was seen to have withstood wind erosion and it seemed hard enough to stand the drilling.

The new image released by NASA displays a sample gathered in the tube successfully. The residual material is also seen in the image. The tube number that is 266 is clearly visible as the bronze colour of the outer ring. The rover was commanded to take more images in better light to confirm the sampling before sealing the sample tube. NASA has cooperated with European Space Agency to send a spacecraft to Mars for collecting these samples from the surface and return them to earth for further thorough research.

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