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Thu, Sep 09, 2021

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Collects First Mars Rock Sample

Sample Comes From Jezero Crater, Slightly Thicker Than A Pencil

NASA’s Perseverance completed the collection of the first sample of Martian rock on September 6th. Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California received data that confirmed the historic milestone.

There is a campaign planned through NASA and the European Space Agency to return the rover’s sample tubes to Earth for closer study. The sample is now in an airtight titanium sample tube. The samples, returned to Earth, would mark the first set of scientifically identified and selected materials making their way to Earth from another planet.

“NASA has a history of setting ambitious goals and then accomplishing them, reflecting our nation’s commitment to discovery and innovation,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “This is a momentous achievement and I can’t wait to see the incredible discoveries produced by Perseverance and our team.”

Perseverance’s mission includes identifying and collecting samples along with studying the Jezero region to understand ancient habitability of the area and characterize the past climate.

“For all of NASA science, this is truly a historic moment,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “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 exploration into the question of whether life once existed on Mars.”

The sample taking process began on September 1st and was sealed and stored on September 6th at 12:34 a.m. EDT.

FMI: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov

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