NASA secures ‘perfect’ Mars sample in historic step towards life on Mars: ‘Phenomenal’

The rover will also deposit sample tubes filled with Martian air.

Ken Farley, Perseverance’s project scientist at Caltech in Pasadena, California, said: “By returning samples to Earth, we hope to answer a number of scientific questions, including the composition of Mars’ atmosphere.

“That’s why we’re interested in an atmospheric sample along with rock samples.”

Perseverance’s first attempt at collecting a rock core failed as the sample proved too crumbly and disintegrated to dust.

Jessica Samuels, the surface mission manager for Perseverance at JPL, said: “The sampling process is autonomous from beginning to end.


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