Martian rock sample credited for Earth rotation

sample tube

The first sample fell. Nine more tubes will be left at Three Forks

The Perseverance rover began collecting evidence that could answer the question of whether there is life on Mars.

He dropped the first sample of rock onto the planet’s surface to wait for it to be collected and returned to Earth.

It’s a pivotal moment in the decades-long quest to bring home material from another planet to work in the lab.

It is thought that the problem of life on Earth can be solved simply by examining rock and soil samples on Earth.

The finger-sized sample tube was removed from the robot’s abdomen and then photographed to make sure it landed properly.

American and European space agencies plan to bring samples in 2030.

They may not be what’s left in what is now known as the Three Forks in Mars’ Jezero Crater. In fact, the rocks Perseverance will be carrying may be being carried away as the robot advances far beyond the crater rim.

But scientists can’t risk the possibility of the rover breaking apart in the meantime with the collection of stones stuck inside, and this has prompted them to now build a fuse warehouse.

Map of parts of Jezero Crater on Mars

Map of parts of Jezero Crater on Mars

The Three Forks store assures that there is something to pick up when the takeback mission arrives.

The first sample tube to enter the tank is a volcanic or igneous rock called “Malay”. Three more examples of such rocks will follow. Their chemistry will help researchers age Jezero Crater and the wider geological history of Mars.

“There are also a variety of sedimentary rocks that record different depositional environments, such as a river delta or the bottom of an ancient lake,” said Perseverance mission scientist Meenakshi Wadhwa. Said. “Some of these environments could have been habitable, and some of these rocks might have preserved evidence of ancient microbial life.”

There will be three sedimentary cylinders.

Perseverance will also leave soil and atmosphere samples with a special tube that records conditions inside the rover, including any pollutants emitted from the rover.

Perseverance and Creativity

Nasa hopes Perseverance and its reconnaissance drone, Ingenuity, will remain operational for the long haul

If the nightmare does happen and Perseverance dies, the fetch quest will be redirected directly to Three Forks.

It will have two drones equipped with claws to grab the tubes and take them to the rocket system that will launch them from Mars for their journey home.

Perseverance drilled two samples of every rock sampled to date. This practice will end with the construction of the Three Forks store.

“We have this paired sample strategy to ensure we have a tube to drop into storage and a tube to carry with us,” explained Katie Stack Morgan, Perseverance deputy project scientist.

“Once we’ve built the repository, we’ll be able to go beyond this strategy and focus on single sampling. This is free for the science team in many ways because we can think about more locations and more rock types to sample,” he told reporters.


Malay rock core immediately after drilling and before encapsulation in the sample tube

By January, Perseverance will have completed its core mission in Jezero. But with all robotic systems in good health and much science prospects remain, NASA officials have already agreed to fund expanded operations.

Together with the reconnaissance aircraft Ingenuity, the vehicle will soon climb the delta mound that dominates the crater’s west.

A delta is a structure of silt and sand spilled by a river that slows down as it enters a larger body of water.

It’s the kind of trait that may have trapped evidence of microbial organisms in the past.

Perseverance will look for what appears to be evidence of flooding activity, judging from the size of some of the rocks scattered over the top of the delta.

The robot will then move to the rim of the crater, where satellite images show it to be carbonate-type sedimentary rocks. These will again be a good place to look for traces of ancient biology.

Perseverance still has over 20 sample tubes waiting to be filled.

traveler diagram

traveler diagram

The sampling mission, consisting of a landing platform, helicopters, a robotic arm and a return rocket, is scheduled to leave Earth for Mars in mid-2028 with a cruise duration of about two years.

Sample tubes from the Three Forks store or directly from Perseverance elsewhere will be brought home on a European cargo ship in 2033.

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