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NASA’s Perseverance Rover Collects Martian Regolith Samples

The GIF illustrates NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover utilizing a regolith sampling bit at the end of its robotic arm to collect rock and dust samples, referred to as regolith. These samples were gathered on December 2nd and 6th, 2022, which were the 634th and 639th Martian days of the mission respectively. The footage was captured by one of the front hazard cameras on the rover. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In the image above, NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is "To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity." Its core values are "safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion." NASA conducts research, develops technology and launches missions to explore and study Earth, the solar system, and the universe beyond. It also works to advance the state of knowledge in a wide range of scientific fields, including Earth and space science, planetary science, astrophysics, and heliophysics, and it collaborates with private companies and international partners to achieve its goals.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>NASA’s Perseverance MarsMars is the second smallest planet in our solar system and the fourth planet from the sun. It is a dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere. Iron oxide is prevalent in Mars' surface resulting in its reddish color and its nickname "The Red Planet." Mars' name comes from the Roman god of war.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>Mars rover is collecting two samples of regolith – broken rock and dust – with a regolith sampling bit on the end of its robotic arm. The samples were collected on December 2 and 6, 2022, the 634th and 639th Martian days, or sols, of the mission. The images were taken by one of the rover’s front hazard cameras.

One of the two regolith samples will be considered for deposit on the Martian surface in the coming weeks as part of the Mars Sample Return campaign. Studying regolith with powerful lab equipment back on Earth will allow scientists to better understand the processes that have shaped the surface of Mars and help engineers design future missions as well as equipment used by future Martian astronauts.

NASA Perseverance Mars Rover Collects Regolith

This image shows NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover collecting a sample of regolith on December 2, 2022, the 634th Martian day of the mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Perseverance’s mission on Mars aims to study astrobiology, with a focus on finding evidence of past microbial life. The rover will investigate the planet’s geology and climate history, lay the foundation for future human missions, and collect and store samples of Martian rock and dust. These samples will then be retrieved by future NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) missions and brought back to Earth for extensive examination.

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Bringing Mars Rock Samples Back to Earth: This short animation features key moments of NASA and ESA’s Mars Sample Return campaign, from landing on Mars and securing the sample tubes to launching them off the surface and ferrying them back to Earth. Credit: NASA/ESA/JPLThe Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center that was established in 1936. It is owned by NASA and managed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The laboratory's primary function is the construction and operation of planetary robotic spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA's Deep Space Network. JPL implements programs in planetary exploration, Earth science, space-based astronomy and technology development, while applying its capabilities to technical and scientific problems of national significance.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>JPL-Caltech/GSFC/MSFC

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

Source: SciTechDaily