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NASA’s Perseverance Rover Grabs Another Little Piece of Mars

Since landing on Mars a year ago, the car-sized rover has achieved a series of accomplishments, including new distance records, snapping incredible pictures of the Red Planet, and collecting the first rock samples from an alien world. Now Perseverance has snatched its seventh core sample, and it's preparing to move to its next sampling site – the ancient river delta.
NASA Perseverance rover collects seventh rock sample 6 photos
NASA Perseverance rover collects seventh sample on MarsNASA Perseverance rover collects seventh sample on MarsNASA Perseverance rover collects seventh sample on MarsNASA Perseverance rover collects seventh sample on MarsNASA Perseverance rover collects seventh sample on Mars
For the past few months, NASA's Perseverance rover has been gathering core samples from the ancient rock layer located in the Jezero Crater. However, when collecting its sixth sample, the rover detected an anomaly: it couldn't store it inside its belly (where all of the sample tubes are located).

The team behind Perseverance discovered that several pebbles were stuck in its drill. The scientific operations had to come to a halt until the issue was fixed. After several attempts that involved rotating the bit carousel that houses the core samples and making the rover "twist with one foot," the debris was finally removed.

It's been a bit over a month since then. During this time, Perseverance resumed its scientific operations and went to the next sampling site, where it picked a target rock from a higher standing boulder that could help scientists better understand the history of the ancient crater.

After characterizing the rock, nicknamed "Sid," the rover went to drilling, successfully getting its seventh core sample. Recently, Perseverance's team took to Twitter to announce that the resulting piece of Mars was safely socked away and that the machine will "get one more sample here before heading on toward the ancient river delta."

Once it obtains the sample, Perseverance will go to the delta. There, it will explore sedimentary rock layers, clay minerals, and rounded boulders located beyond Jezero and search for signs of ancient microbial life. Scientists believe that the crater once hosted liquid water, and these features could shine some light into the wet past of Mars.



 
 
 
 
 

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