NASA’s Mars Rover collected its First Rock Sample

Newest Mars rover of the American Space Agency, NASA has successfully collected the first rock sample for return to the Earth.

Highlights

  • Rock sample was termed as the perfect core sample by the Perseverance rover’s chief engineer, Adam Steltzner.
  • In earlier attempt, Perseverance drilled into much softer rock to crumble the sample, but it didn’t get inside the titanium tube. Then the rover drove a half-mile for a better sampling spot to drill again.
  • Perseverance arrived at the Jezero Crater of Mars in February 2021.
  • The Jezero Crater is believed to be the home of a lush lake-bed and river delta billions of years ago.
  • Thus, this mission was launched in search of rocks that could reveal about ancient life.
  • NASA has planned to launch more spacecraft to get samples collected by Perseverance.

About Mars 2020

Mars 2020 is a ‘Mars rover mission’ under the NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. It comprises of rover Perseverance and a small robotic, coaxial helicopter Ingenuity. This mission was launched from Earth on July 30, 2020 on an Atlas V launch vehicle. It touched down the Martian crater Jezero on February 18, 2021. NASA named the landing site of the rover as Octavia E. Butler Landing on March 5, 2021.  Perseverance and Ingenuity have been on Mars for 191 sols (196 total days) as of now.

What is Sol?

Sol is a solar day on Mars. It is the apparent interval between two successive returns of the Sun to the same meridian as witnessed by observer on Mars. Sol is longer than the Earth day by 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds.

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