Perseverance got its first piece of rock
GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)
NASA has confirmed that its Perseverance rover has succeeded in collecting its first rock sample on Mars. The target was a briefcase-sized rock nicknamed "Rochette" from a ridgeline that is half a mile (900 meters) long. Perseverance uses a drill and a hollow coring bit at the end of its 7-foot-long (2-meter-long) robotic arm to extract samples.
- After coring the rock, the rover vibrated the drill bit and tube for one second, five separate times.
- This procedure is called "percuss to ingest" and is meant to clear the lip of the tube of residual material, and cause the sample to slide down the tube.
- Perseverance landed on an ancient lake bed called the Jezero Crater in February, on a mission to search for signs of ancient microbial life using a suite of sophisticated instruments mounted on its turret.
- It is also trying to better characterize the Red Planet's geology and past climate.
- Eventually NASA wants to collect samples taken by the rover in a joint mission with the European Space Agency, sometime in the 2030s.
- Its first attempt at taking a sample in August failed after the rock was too crumbly to withstand the robot's drill.