NASA’S Mars rover Perseverance to begin dropping samples of rock on surface of Red Planet

The American space agency’s Mars rover Perseverance will begin dropping samples of rock onto the surface of the Red Planet this week. According to media reports, the materials have been packaged in small titanium tubes with the expectation they can be picked up by a future mission and brought home. It is a major milestone in the quest to find out whether there is life on Mars. It is thought only by studying rock and soil samples in Earth laboratories can the matter be resolved. Perseverance will place 10 cylinders on the ground at its exploration site in Jezero Crater. They contain a mix of volcanic and sedimentary rocks that the robot has drilled over the past 15 months. There will also be examples of Martian soil and air. The first finger-sized tube should be in position on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The location for the drop is a flat piece of terrain that’s been nicknamed “Three Forks”. This will make it easier for a future mission to land and recover the store.

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