NASA’s Perseverance has completed its cache of Martian samples

The NASA Perseverance rover taking a selfie beside a deposited sample tube.
Perseverance has been depositing secondary samples of rock collected from Mars across the planet’s surface just in case it fails to deliver its onboard samples during a future collection mission. | Image: NASA

NASA’s Perseverance rover has dropped the last of 10 sample tubes onto the surface of Mars, thereby completing humanity’s “first sample depot on another world.” The rover began depositing titanium tubes containing samples of rock and dust six weeks ago as part of the Mars sample return mission to collect Martian material and deliver it to Earth for further study.

Perseverance landed on Mars in February 2021, touching down inside a 28-mile-wide bowl known as Jezero Crater with a core mission to look for signs of ancient microbial life and gather samples of the Martian environment. Scientists believe that, billions of years ago, Jezero Crater may have contained a river that flowed into a vast lake, which could have provided the necessary…

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