The Perseverance spacecraft succeeded in collecting a second sample of Martian rocks and conducted a preliminary analysis of the sample, the US space agency NASA said yesterday (Friday).
On behalf of the six-wheeled spacecraft, NASA wrote that the two samples are likely to be volcanic, with signs of salts that could carry “old water bubbles,” according to the German news agency.
Project scientist Ken Farley said the samples “reveal the potential for a sustainable, habitable environment”.
“It is extremely important that the water has been there for such a long time,” Farley said in a statement.
This week, the Perseverance spacecraft collected the first of many mineral samples that the administration hopes to extract from the surface of the Red Planet for analysis on Earth, according to Reuters.
Instruments attached to the rover and controlled by mission specialists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles extracted a sample slightly thicker than a pencil from the bottom of an ancient lake on Mars and placed it in a titanium sample tube inside Perseverance and sealed it tightly. .
My first two rock samples are likely volcanic with hints of salts that may hold bubbles of ancient water. They’re pieces of a bigger puzzle, to learn:— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) September 10, 2021
- how this area formed
- its history of water
- if past life ever existed here
More on #SamplingMars: https://t.co/rFOBz2Mrak pic.twitter.com/ztugkQwFQi
NASA chief and former astronaut Bill Nelson praised the matter, describing it as a “historic achievement.”
NASA plans to collect up to 43 mineral samples over the next few months from the bottom of Jezero Crater, a vast basin where scientists believe water was flowing and that microbes may have lived there billions of years ago.