Thursday, December 22, 2022

New Mars Images: Dec. 2022 | NASA's Curiosity & Perseverance Rovers | JPL

New Mars Images: Dec. 2022 | NASA's Curiosity & Perseverance Rovers | JPL

Perseverance Rover Deposits First Sample on Mars Surface for Earth Return
Mars2020 - Sol 653 - Watson
MSL - Sol 3688 - MAHLI - Stretched
MSL - Sol 3688 - MAHLI - White Balanced
Mars2020 - Sol 652 - Mastcam-Z
MSL - Sols 3671 - 3684 - MastCam Right
MSL - Sol 3684 - Mastcam Left
MSL - Sol 3684 - Mastcam
MSL - Sol 3684 - MAHLI

A titanium tube containing a rock sample is resting on the Red Planet’s surface after being placed there on Dec. 21, 2022, by NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. Over the next two months, the rover will deposit a total of 10 tubes at the location, called “Three Forks,” building humanity’s first sample depot on another planet. The depot marks a historic early step in the Mars Sample Return campaign.

Perseverance has been taking duplicate samples from rock targets the mission selects. The rover currently has the other 17 samples (including one atmospheric sample) taken so far in its belly. Based on the architecture of the Mars Sample Return campaign, the rover would deliver samples to a future robotic lander. The lander would, in turn, use a robotic arm to place the samples in a containment capsule aboard a small rocket that would blast off to Mars orbit, where another spacecraft would capture the sample container and return it safely to Earth.

The depot will serve as a backup if Perseverance can’t deliver its samples. In that case, a pair of Sample Recovery Helicopters would be called upon to finish the job.

The first sample to drop was a chalk-size core of igneous rock informally named “Malay,” which was collected on Jan. 31, 2022, in a region of Mars’ Jezero Crater called “South Séítah.” 

Celebrating 10 Years on Mars! (2012-2022)

Mission Name: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

Rover Name: Curiosity

Main Job: To determine if Mars was ever habitable to microbial life. 

Launch: Nov. 6, 2011

Landing Date: Aug. 5, 2012, Gale Crater, Mars

Mission Name: Mars 2020

Rover Name: Perseverance

Main Job: Seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for possible return to Earth.

Launch: July 30, 2020    

Landing: Feb. 18, 2021, Jezero Crater, Mars

For more information on NASA's Mars missions, visit:

Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

Image Release Dates: Dec. 18-21, 2022

#NASA #Space #Astronomy #Science #Mars #RedPlanet #Planet #Astrobiology #Geology #CuriosityRover #MSL #MountSharp #GaleCrater #PerseveranceRover #Mars2020 #JezeroCrater #Robotics #Technology #Engineering #JPL #UnitedStates #JourneyToMars #MoonToMars #CitizenScience #KevinGill #STEM #Education

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