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.

What

  1. After coring the rock, the rover vibrated the drill bit and tube for one second, five separate times.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. It is also trying to better characterize the Red Planet's geology and past climate.
  5. Eventually NASA wants to collect samples taken by the rover in a joint mission with the European Space Agency, sometime in the 2030s.
  6. Its first attempt at taking a sample in August failed after the rock was too crumbly to withstand the robot's drill.