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The Perseverance rover, ready to collect material from Mars

You will collect samples from the Jezero crater that you will store to bring them to Earth

Another objective of the mission, to extract oxygen there, has already been achieved

NASA’s Perseverance rover you have been working tirelessly with your sophisticated instruments, and you are now ready to collect samples from Mars on the surface of Jezero crater, where scientists believe it could once have been a 25-mile wide lake, and where there may be remains of evidence of life primitive.

“We are looking very, very far back in the history of the solar system,” explained Ken Farley, a scientist with NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover Project, during a press conference announcing some of the rover’s early scientific results. “We just hope, if there is life, that it is microbial”, he acknowledged.

Experts believe that the impact of the meteorite that formed the Jezero crater likely created an environment conducive to the development of life. There is evidence of an ancient river in the area where you are exploring, and that formed a delta that has been dry for a long time.

The crater contains clays that only form in the presence of water, and the rover has sent fascinating images of wind gusts and dust swirls, that at just like on Earth, form vortices that raise dust in suspension.

It remains to be seen if the terrain of Jezero is volcanic, and if the ancient lake went through multiple episodes of filling and drying throughout its history. Something that would give clues about the existence of life on some occasion.

The rover will take real samples of the Martian surface for storage during the first two weeks of August, said project manager Jennifer Trosper at the press conference.

A sophisticated “storage system” will place the soil samples in multiple tubes using the rover’s robotic arm. Another arm will take some basic images and measurements, before the sample tubes are sealed and stored inside the rover. “for the future planned return to Earth“said Trosper.

He also assured that other experiments carried out by the rover have been successful. Among them Moxie, whose purpose is to demonstrate the ability to extract oxygen from the atmosphere from carbon dioxide. Something key for future manned missions.

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