The Mars rock named “Rochette” by the Perseverance rover mission team. Note the bore hole, from the sampling procedure by the Perseverance rover. The core sample will now be processed, sealed and stored for recovery by a later mission from Earth. Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech.
1st Martian rock cored for sample return to Earth
NASA’s Perseverance rover has successfully cored a Martian rock, NASA announced late last week. This is Perseverance’s first core sample, and it’s the first Martian rock to be cored. The rover acquired images on September 1, 2021, that showed the sample tube filled with an intact core of the rock. It’s an exciting achievement. And it’s the first of many such samples of Mars rock that’ll be analyzed and stored for return to Earth by a future Mars mission. Wow.
For this accomplishment, the second time’s the charm. Perseverance first attempt at this maneuver was on August 5, 2021. More about that below. This time, the mission team is confident the sample really is in the tube, as seen in initial images. They had a bit of worry about that since subsequent images were a bit less clear. So they took additional images just to be ...