Wednesday, June 7, 2023
HomeSCIENCENASA's Perseverance Score Prizes Mars Sample in Latest Science Mission -Se

NASA’s Perseverance Score Prizes Mars Sample in Latest Science Mission -Se

In this illustration, NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover uses its drill to create a rock sample on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASAIts Persistence rover recently collected its 16th cored rock sample, named “Berea,” as part of its latest science campaign to explore the top of Jezero Crater’s delta. These carbonate-rich rocks, formed from deposits carried by an ancient riverbed, hold the promise of potentially preserving and revealing important information about fossilized life forms. Mars‘Ancient Climate. The range of samples collected by the mission, including igneous and sedimentary rocks, will enable scientists to better understand the history of Jezero Crater and the water cycle on the surface and interior of Mars.

The rover continues to search for rocks worth bringing back to Earth for further study.

NASA’s Perseverance rover cored and stored the first sample of the mission’s new science mission on Thursday, March 30. With each expedition, the team explores and studies a new area. In it, the rover is exploring the delta top of Jezero Crater. Persistence yielded a total of 19 samples and three collections Witness tubeAnd it recently deposited 10 tubes as a backup cache on the surface of Mars as part of NASA-ESA (European Space Agency) Mars sample return mission.

Scientists want to study Martian samples with powerful lab equipment on Earth to search for signs of ancient microbial life and to better understand the water cycle that shaped the Martian surface and interior.

Mars Perseverance Rover Rocky Outcrop

This image shows the rocky outcrop after the NASA Mars rover extracted a rock core and eroded a circular patch called the Persistence Science Team Berea. The image was taken by the rover’s Mastcam-Z instrument on March 30, 2023. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Made from a rock the science team calls “Berea,” this latest sample is the mission’s 16th cored rock sample (also containing samples of regolith — or broken rock and dust — as well as the Martian atmosphere; Read more about samples) The science team believes that Berea formed from rock deposits that were carried to this location by an ancient river. This means the material could come from an area beyond the Jezero crater, and is one reason the team finds the rock so promising.

“The second reason is that the rock is rich in carbonates,” said Katie Stack Morgan, deputy project scientist for persistence at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “Carbonate rocks on Earth can be good at preserving fossilized life. If biosignatures were present in this part of Jezero Crater, it could be a rock that could hold their secrets very well.”

This animation shows NASA’s persistence Mars rover collecting a rock sample from an outcrop that the science team calls “Berea” using a coring bit on the end of its robotic arm. The images were taken by the rover’s Front Hazard Camera. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A climate puzzle

A big puzzle is how the Martian climate worked when the region was covered with liquid water. Because carbonates form due to chemical interactions in liquid water, they can provide scientists with a long-term record of changes in the planet’s climate. By studying the carbonates in the Berea sample, the science team can help fill in the blanks.

“The Berea core highlights the beauty of the rover mission,” said Persistence project scientist Ken Farley of Caltech in Pasadena. “The dynamics of the persistence allowed us to collect volcanic samples from the relatively flat crater floor during the first expedition and then travel. Base of crater delta, where we found fine-grained sedimentary rocks deposited on dry lakebeds. Now we are sampling from a geological location where we see coarse-grained sedimentary rocks deposited in rivers. With this diversity of environments to observe and collect, we are confident that these samples will help us better understand what happened here in Jezero Crater billions of years ago.”

Mars Perseverance Rover Berea Rock Core

This image shows rock cores from Berea inside a drill by NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover. Each rover core is about the size of a classroom chalk: 0.5 inches (13 millimeters) in diameter and 2.4 inches (60 millimeters) long. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

With this last sample safely stored in a sample tube in the rover’s belly, the six-wheeled vehicle will continue to climb Jezero. alluvial fan Towards the next bend in the dry riverbed, is a place the science team is calling “Castel Henleys”.

More about the mission

A key objective of Mars persistence missions is astrobiology, including caching samples that may contain signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rocks and regolith.

The next NASA mission, in collaboration with ESA, will send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon-to-Mars exploration program, which includes the Artemis mission to the Moon to help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

JPL, which is operated by Caltech for NASA, built and operates the Perseverance rover.

(function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)(0);if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments