September 19, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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It appears that the Endurance Rover on Mars has captured its first rock sample

A rock specimen is shown at Persevering Rover Mau.

The persistent rover had a rather poor start on its science journey to Mars last month, when it appeared to have managed to collect a rock to find its sampling tube. empty. In a second hollow attempt, NASA drove the rover to another rocky patch, and images taken on Earth today indicate that the rover was able to secure and secure a sample of Martian rock from this second location. In a few years, another mission could capture samples of persistence and bring them back to Earth, where scientists will be able to examine material from Mars more closely.

NASA has yet to confirm that the probe’s extraction was successful, and there won’t be much uncertainty until it is. As early as September 2, the rover’s social media team confirmed that the rocky target had been successfully drilled, Post a picture of a rock Nice hole in the middle. However, this is not a guarantee in itself – a similar photo of a hole in the ground indicated that the first place of the rock sample had been excavated, but the probe did not actually preserve any rocks. NASA concluded that the first sample may have fallen into dust, which surprised mission scientists who expected the rocks to behave differently.

In the last attempt, we have images from the rover that show him holding a piece of the red planet in a bound fist. This can be compared to subsequent images with a few missing stones, indicating that the specimen was successfully inserted into the tube.

Continue with empty sampling.

If NASA confirms sampling success, victory may be the creation of a second rock. The excavated rock is part of a ridge in the nicknamed Citadel. The castle is visible from the crater of Jezero, the dry lake land on which the rover slipped in February. This site differs from the site of a previous sample attempt – Crater Floor Fractured Rough – in that NASA scientists believe it will be more robust, so it won’t collapse because the rover erodes the surface of the rock and wraps around the layer. under it.

The cores — persistence has room for more than 30 others — is the first step toward a better understanding of Mars. If the rock samples didn’t shed light on the planet’s past habitability, they would at least indicate something of the planet’s geology. NASA’s ultimate goal is a return mission in the early 2030s, which will bring these tubes and their contents back to Earth.

Depending on the results, Perseverance could continue another attempt on this rocky expanse or move on to his next target. Eventually, the rover is expected to take a sample of an ancient river delta that was flowing from the lake at Jezero Crater. This is thought to be the most likely location for stromatolite-like fossils, based on where on Earth microbial organisms appeared.

more: Abigail Allwood is searching for alien fossils on Mars

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