NASA’s Perseverance rover has successfully collected the first Mars rock sample, which is now stored in airtight titanium tube of the rover’s tiny garage. The space agency has also shared some images of the actual sample where it can be seen in the titanium tube. NASA chief described is as “a truly historic moment, for all of NASA science.”
The feat was accomplished on Sept. 1 and NASA confired it publicly confirmed on Monday, making it the first such mineral sample obtained from the surface of another planet, according to the space agency.
Perseverance rover has six wheels and also seems to explore walls of sediment deposited at the foot of a remnant river delta once etched into a corner of the crater and considered a prime spot for study. Rover’s sampling and coaching system have more than 3,000 parts as JPL’s interim director, Larry James said it is “the most complex mechanism ever sent into space.”
With all this, the collection of minerals is the main part of the $2.7 billion Perseverance project. The specimens’ images were captured using the camera present on the rover called the Sampling and Caching System Camera.
After NASA’s first try, in early August, to get a Mars rock sample for storing it in a titanium tube was unsuccessful as the drilling and storing process happened but nothing was actually put into the tube. The spce agency then calculated different possible targets, completed them in time so that nothing can go wrong. And as you can see the second try goes as per expectations and thus a good core sample of titanium was established in the titanium tube.
On Monday, NASA shared many images of Mars rock sample stored in storage tube which in the upcoming time will be deposited in a specific target position on Mars for future research and missions (to be jointly conducted by NASA and the European Space Agency) to pick up in the next decade and return them to Earth, where astrobiologists will examine them for signs of tiny fossilized organisms.
This is a big milestone for NASA, as it also increases the chances that researchers will hold a piece of the red planet one day. NASA is now looking to collect the number of samples from various locations on Mars, and then placing them in airtight titanium tubes for future Mars Sample Return campaign.