Confirmation of Montdenier Sample in Perseverance's Drill
This image taken by the Mastcam-Z camera aboard NASA's Perseverance rover on Sept. 4, 2021, confirmed that the rover had retained a rock core in the sample tube held in the drill at the end of its robotic arm.
After Perseverance drilled the hole called "Montdenier" in the rock nicknamed "Rochette" on Sept. 1 and acquired the rock core, which is slightly thicker than a pencil, the rover vibrated it to clear any material stuck between the coring bit and the sample tube within the bit. The rover then conducted additional imaging to double-check that it retained the rock.
This image has been processed to enhance contrast.
A key objective for Perseverance's mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet's geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith.
The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of 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.
Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and manages operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.
For more information about the mission, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020
Arizona State University in Tempe leads the operations of the Mastcam-Z instrument, working in collaboration with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego.