Saturday, September 25

Perseverance obtains the first rock sample from Mars | Digital Trends Spanish

NASA’s Perseverance robot vehicle finally achieved one of the goals of its trip to Mars: collecting a first sample of Martian stone.

NASA confirmed that it is indeed the first sample of a rock from Mars, obtained from the Jezero crater and that it is only slightly thicker than a pencil. The sample has already been stored in a titanium capsule, which should keep it intact until it can be retrieved from space.

Those recovery missions have a name: Mars Sample Return, o Return of Mars Samples in Spanish, an initiative carried out jointly between NASA and the European Space Agency ESA. Once on Earth, these samples will be the first obtained from another planet in all of history.

Obtaining a rock sample from Mars sounds simple, but it was a less trivial process than you might imagine. Initially, it had an extension of several days, beginning on September 1 with a hole in a rock in the shape of a briefcase.

NASA says the sampling system has more than 3,000 pieces and “is the most complex mechanism ever sent into space,” according to Larry D. James, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, which designed part of it with the space agency. .

This sample is only the first of several that Perseverance will obtain on its mission to Mars. And for NASA, samples from the rover they can be as valuable as those obtained in the Apollo missions to the Moon, also taking into account that the future analysis will be carried out with much more advanced technology than that of decades ago.

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