Patience Mars rover to get the first sample

The brightly colored “paving stones” found in this mosaic could be the target of the first sampling by the Perseverance Rover. This image was taken on July 8, 2021 at the “Crater Floor Fracture Draft” geological unit of Jezero Crater. Credits: NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU / MSSS

NASA is making final preparations for the Perseverance Mars rover to collect the first sample of Martian rock. It will be shipped to Earth by future planned missions. Six-wheeled geologists are looking for scientifically interesting targets in part of the Jezero Crater called the “Crater Floor Fracture Draft”.

Milestones for this important mission will begin within the next two weeks. Perseverance landed on Jezero Crater on February 18, and NASA began the science phase of the Rover mission on June 1, 1.5 square kilometers of crater floor, which may contain the deepest and oldest layers of Jezero. Explored a mile (4 square kilometers) patch of exposed bedrock.

“When Neil Armstrong took his first sample from the Mare Tranquillit 52 years ago, he began the process of rewriting what humanity knew about the Moon,” said NASA Headquarters Science Deputy Director. One Thomas Zulbuchen said. “I hope the first and subsequent samples of Perseverance from the Jezero Crater will do the same for Mars. We are at the beginning of a new era of planetary science and discovery. . “

It took Armstrong 3 minutes and 35 seconds to collect a sample of the first month. Perseverance takes about 11 days to complete the first sampling. This is because we need to receive instructions from hundreds of millions of miles away, relying on sampling, the most complex, capable, and cleanest mechanism sent into space. And caching system.

Watch NASA-JPL engineers test a sample caching system on the Perseverance Mars Rover. Described as one of the most complex robotic systems ever built, the sample and caching system collects core samples from the rock surface of Mars, seals them in tubes, and retrieves them to Earth. I will leave it for future missions to take home. Credit: NASA-JPL / Caltech

Precision equipment to work with

The sampling sequence begins with Rover placing everything needed for sampling within the reach of a 7-foot-long (2-meter-long) robotic arm. To perform an imaging survey, NASA’s science team can then determine the exact location for taking the first sample and another target site within the same area for “proximity science.”

Vivian Sun, co-leader of the science campaign at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said: “In the geological double, first use a polishing bit to scrape off the top layer of rocks and dust, expose a fresh, unweathered surface, blow it clean with a gas dust removal tool, and then approach the turret. -Mounted proximity scientific instruments SHERLOC, PIXL, and WATSON. “

SHERLOC (a scan of the habitable environment with Raman and luminescence of organic and chemical substances), PIXL (planetary instrument of X-ray rock chemistry), and WATSON (wide-angle topographic sensor for operation and engineering) cameras are used for worn targets. Provides mineral and chemical analysis.

Both will also be joined by Perseverance’s SuperCam and Mastcam-Z equipment on the Rover’s mast. The Mastcam-Z captures high-resolution images while SuperCam fires a laser at the polished surface, spectroscopically measures the resulting plume, and collects other data.

The combination of these five instruments enables unprecedented analysis of geological materials in the field.

“After our pre-coring science is complete, we will limit the Rover task on Mars Day, or Mars Day,” Sun said. “This will allow Rover to fully charge the battery for the next day’s event.”

The sampling day begins with the sample processing arm in the Adaptive Caching Assembly removing the sample tube, heating it, and then inserting it into the coring bit. A device called a bit carousel carries tubes and bits to a rotating percussive drill in a perseverance robotic arm, where it drills an untouched geological “twin.” stone I studied the previous sol and filled the tube with a core sample that was about the same size as a piece of chalk.

The perseverance arm then returns the bit and tube combination to the bit carousel and back to the adaptive caching assembly. Here, the volume of the sample is measured, photographed, sealed and stored. The next time the contents of the sample tubes are seen, they will be placed in a clean room facility on Earth for analysis using scientific instruments that are too large to be sent to Mars.

“Not all the samples Perseverance collects are done in search of ancient life. I don’t think this first sample will provide any conclusive evidence in any way,” said the California Institute of Technology. Ken Farley, a Perseverance project scientist, said. “The rocks in this geological unit are not great time capsules for organic matter, but have existed since the formation of the Jezero Crater and are of great value in bridging the gap in geological understanding of the region. I believe. Know if life once existed on Mars. ”

Signs of life on Mars?Patience Rover begins hunting

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Quote: Https: // to get the first sample taken on July 21, 2021 (July 21, 2021) Perseverance Mars Rover

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Patience Mars rover to get the first sample

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