With First Martian Samples Packed, NASA Perseverance Rover Initiates Ambitious Sample Return Mission

With First Martian Samples Packed, NASA Perseverance Rover Initiates Ambitious Sample Return Mission

NASA, along with the European Space Agency, is developing a campaign to return the Martian samples to Earth. On September 1, NASA’s Perseverance rover unfurled its arm, placed a drill bit at the Martian surface, and drilled about 2 inches, or 6 centimeters, down to extract a rock core. The rover later sealed the rock core in its tube. This historic event marked the first time a spacecraft packed up a rock sample from another planet that could be returned to Earth by future spacecraft. Mars Sample Return is a multi-mission campaign designed to retrieve the cores Perseverance will collect over the next several years. Currently, in the concept design and technology development phase, the campaign is one of the most ambitious endeavors in spaceflight history, involving multiple spacecraft, multiple …
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