NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars just caught its most recent rock sample (photos)

NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars just caught its most recent rock sample (photos)

Snagging the Red Planet

NASA’s Perseverance rover is still collecting rocks on Mars.

The robot of car-size has just received its 4th Red Planet rock sample, drilling other core from an interesting stone it first sampled before a week.

“I tasted this rock twice because it was that good! With another piece of this intriguing rock, I have capped and sealed my fifth sample vial. At some high-priority targets, such as this one, I’m doubling up on samples “On November 24th, members of the Perseverance Rover team stated. They also shared two images from the sampling process.

Perseverance landed on the floor of Mars’ Jezero Crater in February, where billions of years ago there was a large lake and a river delta. The rover is collecting dozens of samples while looking for indications of ancient Martian life. This is a joint NASA-European Space Agency mission that will arrive on Earth in 2031, possibly sooner.

 

Drilling on the rock

As noted in the tweet above, Perseverance has so far sealed five sample tubes. One of the tubes, however, is empty. Back in August, the first rock the robot attempted to sample proved to be extremely soft, crumbling to bits that didn’t make it into the allocated titanium tube.

Perseverance drilled into the same rock on Nov. 15, and the freshly acquired material came from that same rock. The mineral olivine, a magnesium iron silicate that makes up the majority of the Earth’s upper mantle, is abundant in that stone.

“My science team has a few theories as to how it came to be there. There’s a lot of speculation going on right now. Science is the absolute authority “On November 16, the Perseverance team tweeted that sample number three had been successfully collected.

Although Perseverance is millions of miles away from its home planet, it is not alone. The rover was accompanied by a small robotic companion, Ingenuity, a 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) helicopter. It’s shown that aerial exploration of Mars is doable.

 

Perseverance has hired Ingenuity to do some scouting. To date, the small chopper has completed 16 Red Planet trips, the most recent of which occurred on Sunday (Nov. 21).

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