Photo from NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover shows a small, white sample tube lying on the sandy surface of Mars. About the size of a marker, the tube sits in the shadow of the rover that released it. Part of the rover’s left rear wheel is visible at top right, along with tracks it has made on the dusty ground. The tube sits with its sealed end pointed toward the camera. In addition to a mainly matte white body, parts of the tube appear silver, gold and gray in certain areas.

NASA’s Perseverance deposited its fourth sample on the Martian Surface

On Jan. 04, 2023, the Mars Perseverance Rover deposited the fourth out of a total of ten titanium tubes containing rock samples on the Red Planet.

On Dec. 21, 2022, the Perseverance Rover started to position its rock samples on the Martian surface. Two days ago, on Jan. 04, the Robot deposited the fourth out of ten titanium tubes on the Red Planet. Each sample tube weighs less than 60 grams and has laser-etched serial numbers on the outside, so the team can identify what they contain.

Over the next two months, the samples will be released on the Mars’ Jezero Crater region, called “Three Forks“, starting the earliest phase of Nasa’s Mars Sample Return mission. After depositing the ten rock samples, another rover will land on Mars and gather the samples in a containment capsule aboard a small rocket that would be captured by a spacecraft and returned to Earth no earlier than the mid-2030s.

Satellite image of Mars surface, with graphic overlays representing NASA's Perseverance rover and the planned drop zones for 10 sample tubes. As explained in a legend, a zig-zag path shown in cyan illustrates rover tracks of a planned driving route, stopping at 10 tightly clustered targets marked with yellow dots. One backup target is also identified. Red circles surrounding each yellow dot represent helicopter operations zones.
Satellite image of Mars surface, with graphic overlays representing NASA’s Perseverance rover and the planned drop zones for 10 sample tubes. As explained in a legend, a zig-zag path shown in cyan illustrates rover tracks of a planned driving route, stopping at 10 tightly clustered targets marked with yellow dots. One backup target is also identified. Red circles surrounding each yellow dot represent helicopter operations zones. Credits: NASA Perseverance Via Twitter

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The Rover

The Perseverance Rover is part of the Mars 2020 Mission, which in turn belongs to NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

The Rover landed on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, and its mission will last at least one Martian year (687 Earth days). It is searching for signs of past microbial life and collecting samples for a future human landing.

In a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, USA, engineers observed the first driving test for NASA's Mars 2020 rover 17 December 2019. Photo Credits: ESA
In a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, USA, engineers observed the first driving test for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover on Dec. 17, 2019. Credits: ESA

During its adventure on the Red Planet, Perseverance already achieved important accomplishments:

  • Collecting the first rock samples from another planet;
  • Testing the first prototype oxygen generator for Mars;
  • Serving as a base station for Ingenuity.
  • Driving for more than 300m in a single day (a record for a Martian Rover)

All of this sounds incredible if we consider that this robot has flown in space for more than 7 months and that this is only the first part of the Mars Return mission.

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Giovanni Facchinetti

Giovanni Facchinetti

Space Engineering student from Bergamo, Italy. Founder and content creator, sometimes I write articles here.
In my free time, I love to play football, meet new people and traveling.

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