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“Perseverance” NASA Mars robot picks up a rock from the Red Planet, today, Tuesday, September 7, 2021 07:18 am
Date: September 07 2021
NASA has announced that its roaming robot has completed the crucial first step in a decade-long mission to return pieces of Mars to Earth, by collecting rock and preserving it in a tight cover, after a failed attempt last month, according to Cnet. .
On the 190th day of its mission, the rover robot Perseverance overcame previous sampling problems, and was able to extract part of the core of a small bag-sized block of rock from the surface of Mars.
NASA scientists were unsure of this news, after taking pictures that were not clear enough due to poor lighting conditions, but they confirmed in other images that arrived Saturday that the robot was indeed able to keep the rock in a titanium tube.
And NASA announced, on Monday, that the rover had stored the sample inside, sealed in a titanium tube.
“We’ve got it,” tweeted Adam Steltzner, chief engineer for the Perseverance robot mission, after he had described the sample as “perfect.”
Early images show rusty red deposits that could be iron-rich minerals, according to Stephen Ruff, a planetary geologist at Arizona State University and founder of the YouTube channel Mars Guy.
This rock sample is the first of about 43 samples to be returned to Earth within years for analysis.
According to the Al-Hurra channel website, NASA aims to collect dozens of diverse rock samples, as diversity will be essential to enable the scientific team to compare the rocks through the Jezero crater, which scientists believe included a deep lake 3.5 billion years ago, and learn more about the history of Mars. , and whether life exists on the planet.
The move aims to search for signs of ancient life, such as traces of fossilized microbial life in rocks, and also to better understand the geology of Mars.
“For all of NASA’s science, this is truly a historic moment,” NASA Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen said Monday.
Perseverance, the size of a large SUV, landed on February 18 at Jezero crater, where it is believed that this environment may have created the conditions necessary for life beyond Earth.
A month ago, Perseverance drilled into softer rocks, and the sample collapsed and did not enter the titanium tube.
The probe traveled half a mile to a better place for sampling in another attempt. Team members analyzed the data and images before declaring success.
NASA and the European Space Agency plan to send a Mars lander and sampler to the surface of Mars in 2026, then the rover will blast off and pipe the 30 rocks to a rocket bound for Earth sometime in the early 2030s.
If the plan goes well and the rock samples reach Earth, it will be the first time humans have returned material from another planet.
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