To achieve this, Perseverance had to drill a hole in a piece of rock. “I have it,” the cart’s NASA account tweeted several days ago. And last night the word redeemer came, with accompanying photos as proof: the stone dust was placed in a tube. This tube is sealed and stored in the cart.
NASA Director Bill Nelson said: “This is a monumental achievement and I look forward to other wonderful discoveries.”
Proof for life
The intention is that at some point in the future, the soil sample can be brought to Earth via another space mission. Among other things, the US space agency wants to know if the material contains evidence that microbes lived on the red planet.
A previous attempt in August had failed. Back then, the drilling action yielded only rock powder, but now a sample about the thickness of a pencil has been recovered.
The six-wheeled Martian explorer landed in a crater on the planet in late February and quickly completed his first tour. His work area is the Jezero Crater where billions of years ago, when water would have flowed on Mars, a river could have flowed into a lake.
For research on rocks and soils, the explorer is equipped with more than twenty cameras and a drill. The device should collect dozens of soil samples in tubes. In 2028, a European explorer is expected to arrive on Mars to retrieve the material.
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