New Delhi|Jagran News Desk: NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars has completed the collection of the first sample of the Martian rocks. The Perseverance rover collected the rocks from the core of the Jezero Crater. On Monday, Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory received the information regarding this milestone that the Perseverance rover achieved. The rover landed on the crater in February.
The core of Mars is now enclosed in an airtight titanium sample tube that can be used in the future. The samples of the core from Mars would be the first set of scientifically identified material that will be returned to our planet from another.
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— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) September 6, 2021
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As per NASA's Administrator, Bill Nelson, "NASA has a history of setting ambitious goals and then accomplishing them, reflecting our nation's commitment to discovery and innovation," He mentioned how the achievement is momentous and it can lead to incredible discoveries.
"For all of NASA science, this is truly a historic moment. Just as the Apollo Moon missions demonstrated the enduring scientific value of returning samples from other worlds for analysis here on our planet, we will be doing the same with the samples Perseverance collects as part of our Mars Sample Return program. Using the most sophisticated science instruments on Earth, we expect jaw-dropping discoveries across a broad set of science areas, including an exploration into the question of whether life once existed on Mars," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
The rover, apart from collecting and identifying samples of rocks and regolith also studied the Jezero Crater for understanding its geology and habitability.
In the latest developments, the Perseverance rover has transferred the sample tube serial number 266 and it's Martian cargo into the rover's interior to measure and image the rock core. It then hermetically sealed the container, took another image, and stored the tube.
The Perseverance rover started the process of collecting samples on September 1. And now, the process of coring is completed. Right now, the Perseverance is exploring the rocky outcrops and boulders of "Artuby," a ridgeline of more than a half-mile (900 meters) bordering two geologic units believed to contain Jezero Crater's deepest and most ancient layers of exposed bedrock.
After this, the Perseverance rover will travel north, then west, toward the location of its second science campaign: Jezero Crater's delta region. The region where Perseverance will travel now may be especially rich in clay minerals. As the rover's mission is completed, NASA with ESA can send a spacecraft to Mars to further collect the sample and bring it back to Earth for research.
The Mars Perseverance mission is part of NASA's Moon to Mars exploration approach that started in the year 2020. The mission also includes Artemis missions to the Moon that in the future will help humans to further explore the red planet.
Posted By: Ashita Singh