Perseverance Sample Tubes: Six Mars Samples and Counting
Six facsimile sample tubes hang on the sample tube board in the offices of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. Each 3D-printed tube represents actual sample tubes the rover has filled on Mars, either with rock or atmosphere, and they are labeled with the names of the target from which they came. The board was handmade by Perseverance's deputy project manager, Rick Welch.
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 (broken rock and dust).
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.
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.
JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.
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