Perseverance Rover Is Ready To Gather Its First Samples
NASA’s Perseverance Rover is currently making its final preparations to collect its first Martian rock samples. In the future, the rocks collected by Perseverance will be gathered by other missions and transported back to Earth for scientists to study. Perseverance is currently searching for a scientifically interesting target to use for gathering samples.
NASA says this is an important mission milestone that is expected to begin within the next two weeks. The rover landed on Mars on February 18, and the science phase of the mission began on June 1. The rover is exploring a 1.5 square mile piece of the crater floor that could contain the deepest and most ancient layers of exposed bedrock in the area.
When Neil Armstrong took the first sample from the Sea of Tranquility 52 years ago, he began a process that would rewrite what humanity knew about the Moon, said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters. I have every expectation that Perseverances first sample from Jezero Crater, and those that come after, will do the same for Mars. We are on the threshold of a new era of planetary science and discovery.
Perseverance will need 11 days to complete its first sample collection. The delay is due in part to the distance between Earth and Mars, with instructions for sampling having to travel hundreds of millions of miles.