In less than six weeks, NASA’s Perseverance rover has completed the deposit on Mars of 10 titanium test tubes containing backup soil samples that can be brought back to Earth if those stored in the rover’s belly are lost during a Mars sample return mission. by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). the makes him known The US space agency, having received a confirmation signal from Perseverance, has deposited its tenth and final test tube.
Mission technicians believe that the igneous and sedimentary rock samples collected so far will reveal valuable information about the geological processes that occurred in Jezero Crater after its formation, which dates back at least 4 billion years. Perseverance also led to the precipitation of a sample of the Martian atmosphere and a control tube to determine if the samples collected were somehow contaminated with terrestrial material brought in by the rover itself.
Titanium test tubes were deposited in a zigzag pattern, spaced well apart from each other, so that they would not be damaged during the recovery phase. Each tube has been carefully positioned to allow it to be found even if covered in sand.
“With Three Forks precipitated in our rearview mirror, Perseverance is now heading for the delta,” says Rick Welch, deputy mission manager at JPL. “We’re going to go up the ‘Hawksbill Gap’ route that we explored earlier. Once we pass the geological unit that the science team calls Rocky Top, we’ll find ourselves in a new area and start exploring the Delta Top.”
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