Perseverance's Drill Bits
The drill bits used by NASA's Perseverance Mars rover are seen before being installed prior to launch. The regolith bit is on the left, followed by six bits used for drilling rock cores. On the right are two abrasion bits that are used to remove the dust-covered outer layer of a rock so that the rover can take accurate data of its composition.
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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