Sealing in Perseverance's First Sample
The first cored sample of Mars rock acquired by NASA's Perseverance rover is sealed inside its titanium container tube in this image taken by rover's Sampling and Caching System Camera (known as CacheCam). The image was taken on Sept. 6, 2021 (the 194th sol, or Martian day, of the mission), after the seal was attached and hermetically fixed in place onto the tube. The seal's item and serial numbers can be seen near the center of the disk.
An additional set of images shows the tube before and after sealing. Perseverance engineers designed a visual check to confirm the hermetic seal. The distance between the two rings outside the item and serial numbers increases.
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.
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