GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

NASA’s newest Mars rover came up empty in its first attempt to pick up a rock sample to eventually be brought back to Earth. The rover Perseverance drilled into the floor of the planet’s Jezero Crater to extract a finger-sized sample from slabs of flat rocks. The drill seemed to work as intended, but it appeared no rock made it into the sample tube, the agency said.

What

  1. The drill hole is the first step of a sampling process that is expected to take about 11 days, with the aim of looking for signs of ancient microbial life that may have been preserved in ancient lakebed deposits.
  2. Scientists also hope to better understand Martian geology.
  3. The mission took off from Florida a little over a year ago and Perseverance, which is the size of a large family car, landed on 18 February 2020 in the Jezero Crater.
  4. Scientists believe the crater contained a deep lake 3.5 billion years ago, where the conditions may have been able to support extraterrestrial life.
  5. NASA plans a mission to bring around 30 samples back to Earth in the 2030s, to be analyzed by instruments that are much more sophisticated than those that can be brought to Mars at present.