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NASA Perseverance Mars Rover begins construction of first prototype depot on another planet

The first sample area on an alien planet will be built in the coming days by NASA Perseverance Mars Rover. In the NASA-ESA (European Space Agency) Mars Sample Return campaign, which aims to return Mars samples to Earth for in-depth analysis, will signal a significant turning point.

At a location within Jezero Crater known as Three Forks, the rover drops one of its titanium sample tubes containing a chalk-size core of rock from its belly 2.9 feet (88.8 centimeters) onto the ground to start the depot-building procedure.

Perseverance Mars Rover

Perseverance will deposit a total of 10 tubes carrying samples that represent the variety of the rock record in Jezero Crater over a period of about 30 days.

Mars rover will persevere across the top of the delta at Jezero Crater in 2023. The rover’s intended path is shown in black, and the area it has already visited is shown in white. NASA/JPL-Caltech credit

Two samples have been taken from each of the rover’s rock targets. A backup set of each pair will be left at Three Forks with half of each pair remaining inside Perseverance. It will be the main method used in the campaign to deliver the collected samples to the Mars launch vehicle.

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NASA Mars Exploration

The first sample area on an alien planet will be built in the coming days by NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover.

Furthermore, the Perseverance Mars rover from NASA has left a titanium tube with a rock sample on the surface of the red planet. 

The rover will set down a total of 10 tubes at the Three Forks location over the course of the following two months, creating the first off-planet sample depository for mankind. The depot represents a crucial first step in Mars Sample Return history.

The first sample is to be released as a core of igneous rock with a Cretaceous-sized, code-named Malay, which was taken on January 31, 2022, in a section of Mars’ Jezero Crater known as South Sétah. 

To retrieve the metal tube from the rover’s belly, give it one last look with its internal CacheCam, and scan the sample from about 35 inches (89 centimeters) up on a carefully chosen area of the rover to drop the Martian surface, it took Perseverance’s intricate sampling and caching system nearly an hour.

Engineers are testing how NASA’s Perseverance rover will deposit its first sample tube on the surface of Mars using OPTIMISM, a full-size copy of the vehicle.

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