In recent days, the robot, a kind of science laboratory on wheels, has been busy in its “earthy office,” preparing everything for collecting the first rock samples on Mars, a key directive for the Mars 2020 mission.
This is a long-awaited moment by scientists who have analyzed various hypotheses in the Jazero crater, where Perseverance “married” on February 18 And that it was chosen precisely because it is considered to contain important samples for determining whether life exists on the Red Planet.
There are more than 10 years of preparation, ranging from robot equipment to software and study by the team. perseverance, but this was “set” in the 164 days the rover was already on Mars.
Finally everything went as planned. The collection was already collected in the early hours of Friday, and now the rock must be analyzed.
NASA believes that in this crater it is possible to reach more exposed layers of bedrock, find scientific answers that will allow us to better understand the past of Mars and prepare for the next human expeditions to the planet.
Perseverance has already shared photos of the rocks it has been “investigating” in recent months, with the help of the various instruments on board the ship, as cameras, a robotic arm and also lasers are essential for this mission to collect samples from Mars.
Bobby Brown of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory admitted that since he was a young engineer, this has been one of the hot spots of his career, and that this is the time scientists and engineers around the world have focused on over the past few decades.
The instruments aboard Perseverance allow for a series of scientific analyzes of the samples, but part of the investigation requires instruments only available on Earth. The scientist explains that only by bringing samples, you will be able to understand the true age of Mars, the detailed history of the presence of water, the evolution of the climate and the possible existence of life.
The goal is to collect at least 35 rock samples from different geological units and from different surfaces. The material collected by Perseverance will then be sealed and stored inside the rover to be collected by a future mission, in partnership with the European Space Agency, which will transport the samples back to Earth.
The map below shows the path of perseverance in the 164 days he spent on Mars and his location, as well as the location of Helicopter ingenuity Which showed resilience beyond expectations.
The first rocks collected may be the oldest that perseverance will collect, as the bot “shared” in a tweet, indicating that it’s a good start for your group.
Despite the historical moment, this is still an important start that is expected to bring more achievements. The Perseverance robot and Ingenuity helicopter left for Mars on July 30, 2020 and “married” on February 18, adding up to over 160 days on Mars, taking nearly 200,000 photos and checking many records.
In the coming months, we’ll continue to wait for more scientific discoveries, not least because the mission, which is expected to last at least a Mart year, which corresponds to 687 Earth days, but could extend much longer, similar to InSight and Curiosity rovers that Continue to explore the red planet.
NASA’s map shows the sites of the successful “armartagem” from the US space agency as well as the Chinese agency, which this year joined a small group of explorers on Mars.
Editor’s note: News has been updated with more information
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