NASA confirms Mars rover’s first rock sample grab, 40 remaining


Cape Canaveral, Florida — NASA’s latest Mars rover has completed its first sample grab and pushed a rock tube back to Earth.

The Perseverance Rover team confirmed the success of drilling and collection last week after reviewing photos of core samples. NASA wanted to make sure the sample was safe inside the titanium tube before sharing the news on Monday.

During the first sampling attempt at Perseverance in early August, an unexpectedly soft rock collapsed. A flight controller at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, sought a harder rock in a second attempt.

Patience arrived in February at the Martian Jezero Crater (formerly Lake Bottom and Delta) in search of rocks that may contain evidence of past Martian life. Future spacecraft will collect specimens and deliver them to Earth 10 years later. The rover has more than 40 sample tubes.

Marcia Dan

Associated Press