The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its Perseverance Mars rover are gearing up for the collection of a second rock sample.
The Perseverance rover has just successfully collected its first rock sample last week, and the photos have already been shared by NASA.
The Mars rover's first attempt failed after the rock sample it collected crumbled and was deemed unusable for study.
NASA, Perseverance Rover Prepare for Second Rock Sample Collection
NASA and its Perseverance Mars rover are preparing for the second Martian rock sample collection.
A tweet posted by the Perseverance rover's Twitter account reads, "I've captured my first Mars sample and I'm ready to core a second sample from this same rock."
According to a report by Space, the rover has just sealed up a drilled-out core is made on a rock that has been nicknamed "Rochette." With the second rock sample collection about to take place, the Perseverance rover will have to drill a new hole into Rochette once more.
"This time, I will run through the entire process of coring and sealing the tube without pausing," the Perseverance rover's tweet adds.
Perseverance Rover's Successful First Sample Collection
NASA had a cause for celebration as the Perseverance rover successfully collected its first Martian rock sample last week.
It was the Mars rover's second attempt at its first collection, and it took place on September 5. The Perseverance made sure its second attempt was successful, "taking extra time to make sure that the 2.4-inch-long (6 centimeters) core was safely retained in the tube before sealing it up on Saturday (Sept. 4)," according to the report by Space.
The Perseverance rover's first Martian rock sample is now contained in an airtight titanium sample tube. The first sample, as well as every other sample that the Mars rover will collect, will be brought to Earth sometime in the 2030s.
A joint campaign between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) will be responsible for bringing the Mars samples to Earth.
Related Article: NASA Shares Photos of Perseverance Rover's First Rock Sample
Perseverance Rover Failed at First Attempt
As mentioned, the Mars rover's successful first collection was actually the robot's second attempt at getting a rock sample from the planet. That is because its first attempt did not succeed.
The Perseverance rover made its first attempt last August 5. The sample collected that day crumbled and NASA deemed that the sample cannot be used for study.
The Perseverance rover, which is part of NASA's Mars 2020 Exploration Program, landed on the planet in February. Its companion, the Ingenuity helicopter, was tucked inside the rover during the landing. Both were launched to outer space on July 20, 2020.
The Perseverance rover's main goal on Mars is to collect samples from the planet. Its other goal is to find signs of life in the planet's Jezero Crater.
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Written by Isabella James