Perseverance collected a second rock sample on Mars

Perseverance collected a second rock sample on Mars

NASA wasted no time: the rover sent to the Red Planet has collected a second fragment of soil that will be used to study Martian geology

The rock sample from Mars collected by Perseverance (photo: Nasa) Only a few hours after announcing a new attempt to take a second sample of Martian rock, NASA confirmed that Perseverance has successfully completed the operation. In its "belly" there are now two samples, which the rover will keep until the future recovery expedition in 2031.

Two for two: I have successfully processed and stored my second sample of Mars, thus bringing my total to two Martian rock cores in one week.

More images:

Tune in to watch my team share more this Friday: https: // t. co / Q24DiF42q0

- NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) September 8, 2021

First attempt failed

Nothing in Perseverance operations is left to chance: technicians sometimes take years to plan operations at all stages, from site identification to instrument calibration.

However, the very first Perseverance attempt on 6 August had not been successful. The rover had pierced the rock but then the sample was missing.

#SamplingMars is one of my most complicated tasks. Early pics and data show a successful drill hole, but no sample in the tube – something we’ve never seen in testing on Earth. Mars keeps surprising us. We’re working through this new challenge. More to come.

- NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) August 6, 2021

A nasty surprise for NASA which had never encountered a similar problem in the tests on Earth. In an article in Nature, scientists speculated that the failure was due to the fact that the coring produced only dust and small fragments that Perseverance's robotic arm could not hold back.

Try it again, Perseverance

NASA technicians certainly did not give up and on September 1st they tried again, choosing a different rock that they nicknamed Rochette. And, although it took a few days to be sure, everything was fine.

It's official: I've now captured, sealed, and stored the first core sample ever drilled on another planet, in a quest to return samples to Earth. It's the first in a one-of-a-kind Martian rock collection. #SamplingMars

Read more:

- NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) September 6, 2021

On the second attempt, therefore, the images showed an intact sample - the size of a chalk, a cylinder of 6 centimeters with a diameter of 1.3 centimeters - inside the ultra-clean titanium tube . The special test tube was finally sealed and will guard the precious rock until we are able to take it to Earth to analyze it in detail.

“Catch 'em all“

Confirming the recovery of the first sample, NASA also announced that Perseverance would soon try again and this time it would do everything, from coring to closing the sample in its tube, without stopping. For the first sample, in fact, the rover had "taken some time" to make sure it really held the piece of rock.

I've captured my first Mars sample and I'm ready to core a second sample from this same rock. This time, I will run through the entire process of coring and sealing the tube without pausing. #SamplingMars continues.

My team to share the latest Friday:

- NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) September 7, 2021

Only a few hours have passed this time to confirm that yes, we also have the second champion. In short, NASA is refining the collection technique, so as to make it as efficient and rapid as possible. On the other hand, Perseverance has 43 sampling tubes with it, which scientists hope that, once analyzed, will provide valuable information about the planet's geology and possibly even traces of life forms in Mars' past.

Per to learn more about these and upcoming operations and the nature of the rock samples collected, we will have to wait for the press conference scheduled for September 10 which will be broadcast on NASA channels.

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Mars Nasa Perseverance Space globalData.fldTopic = "Mars, Nasa, Perseverance, Space"

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