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NASA’s Perseverance rover has collected its 21st sample from Mars, and exploration continues

NASA’s Perseverance rover has collected its 21st sample from Mars, and exploration continues

While the NASA Ingenuity drone continues to fly Marsthe NASA Perseverance Rover Excavations continue in the Jezero crater delta, which millions of years ago was a lake in which (microbial) life could develop. It is precisely for this reason that NASA and the European Space Agency are developing the mission Mars sample return To bring samples of rocks, regolith and atmosphere from the Red Planet.

This mission will be the first to bring back samples from another planet while humanity has in the past returned samples from the Moon and asteroids (those samples from the asteroid Bennu will arrive on September 24, with the OSIRIS-REx mission). He also recently wrote about the possibility of canceling the Mars sample return mission due to budget shortages, nothing has been decided yet to that effect, in the meantime the tests continue. In the last few days NASA Perseverance I’ve collected his 21 samples.

NASA rover

NASA Perseverance has collected the 21st sample from Mars

thanks for the The official page of the mission We know that 21 samples It was collected on September 15 (Sol 913) in the Lake of Dreams area. The rock sample was sedimentary and was named Pilot Mountain. previously Mars rover He tried to take another sample, but the chosen rock was not suitable for obtaining a sample “Carrot” Solid enough to close while the drill bit is damaged (but there are other replacement parts).

NASA rover

The previous sample, the twentieth called Otis Peak, dates back to June 23 (Sol 832) and was taken in the Emerald Lake area. Overall, 21 of the 38 tubes were filled NASA Perseverance (While 3 of the 5 test tubes have already been used to check for contamination). These are mainly rock samples divided into sedimentary and ponds while two are from Martian regolith and one is from the atmosphere.

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NASA Perseverance It is located in the nicknamed area mando wall And the, As shown By engineers it was a complex journey full of pitfalls, such as protruding rocks. 350 meters are also covered thanks to the system Automatic navigation Which analyzes the terrain, allowing obstacles to be overcome and thus reducing travel time. It is found in the Mandu Wall area Carbonate rocks Which may have interacted with water from rain or water on the ground. An alternative hypothesis is that carbonates formed due to the reaction between silicate minerals (such as olivine) and atmospheric carbon dioxide.


Explore this part of Mars Contained in the margin campaign which will last for approximately 230 sols or 8 months. Here various chemical analyzes will be performed and four rock samples (at most) will be collected. In general, the goal will be to understand how rocks change over time and for what reasons.