Perseverance Sample Tube 266
This image, taken in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shows sample tube number 266, which was used to collect the first sample of Martian rock by NASA's Perseverance rover. The laser-etched serial number helps science team identify the tubes and their contents.
Perseverance carries 43 sample tubes, 38 of which have been tasked to carry different samples from a variety of geologic units and surface materials. The other five are "witness tubes" that (prior to launch) were loaded with materials geared to capture molecular and particulate contaminants. They'll be opened one at a time on Mars to witness the ambient environment primarily near sample collection sites, so the science team can catalog any impurities that may have traveled with the tube from Earth or contaminants from the spacecraft that may be present during sample collection.
Made chiefly of titanium, each sample tube for Perseverance weighs less than 2 ounces (57 grams) and is less than 6 inches long. . A white exterior coating guards against heating by the Sun potentially changing the chemical composition of the samples after Perseverance deposits the tubes on the surface of Mars.
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