NASA Rover Collects First Mars Rock Sample

NASA’s Perseverance rover collects the first sample of Martian rock, a core from Jezero Crater slightly thicker than a pencil. Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California received data that confirmed the historic milestone on September 6, 2021.

According to NASA, The sample is now enclosed in an airtight titanium sample tube, making it available for retrieval in the future. Through the Mars Sample Return campaign, NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) are planning a series of future missions to return the rover’s sample tubes to Earth for closer study.

“NASA has a history of setting ambitious goals and then accomplishing them, reflecting our nation’s commitment to discovery and innovation,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “This is a momentous achievement and I can’t wait to see the incredible discoveries produced by Perseverance and our team.”

These samples would be the first set of scientifically identified and selected materials returned to our planet from another.