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Space. NASA’s Perseverance Rover Collects First Mars Rock Sample (NASA)

Perseverance’s first cored-rock sample of Mars rock

This sealed titanium sample tube contains Perseverance’s first cored sample of Mars rock. The rover’s Sampling and Caching System Camera (known as CacheCam) captured this image. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Perseverance rover today completed the collection of the first sample of Martian rock, a core from Jezero Crater slightly thicker than a pencil. Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California received data that confirmed the historic milestone.

The core is now enclosed in an airtight titanium sample tube, making it available for retrieval in the future. Through the Mars Sample Return campaign, NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) are planning a series of future missions to return the rover’s sample tubes to Earth for closer study. These samples would be the first set of scientifically identified and selected materials returned to our planet from another.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Collects First Mars Rock Sample | NASA