NASA’s Mars rover, Perseverance, deposited its first pattern of rocks on the Crimson Planet’s floor Wednesday for an eventual return to Earth.
The rover positioned a titanium tube containing the rock pattern as a part of NASA’s Mars Pattern Return marketing campaign.
The deposit is considered one of greater than a dozen tubes that shall be positioned on the location – dubbed “Three Forks” – over the subsequent two months.
Perseverance has been taking duplicate samples from rock targets the mission selects, NASA stated.
NASA’S INSIGHT MARS LANDER OFFICIALLY RETIRED AFTER FOUR YEARS ON THE RED PLANET
The rover will later ship samples to a robotic lander that can use a robotic arm to position the samples in a containment capsule aboard a small rocket. The rock will blast off into Mars’ orbit and ship the samples to a different spacecraft that can return the samples to Earth.
The pattern, NASA says, will function a backup if the rover can’t ship its pattern. In that situation, Pattern Restoration Helicopters shall be deployed to complete the job.
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“Seeing our first pattern on the bottom is a superb capstone to our prime mission interval, which ends on Jan. 6,” Rick Welch, Perseverance’s deputy challenge supervisor at JPL, stated in a press release. “It’s a pleasant alignment that, simply as we’re beginning our cache, we’re additionally closing this primary chapter of the mission.”