NASA’s Perseverance rover has begun drilling the surface of Mars to collect rock samples. Scientists note that the next missions will send them to Earth. The American space agency has released images of the planet with small holes – this is the first soil collection pit made by a robot on Mars.
“Sample collection has begun!” Tweeted Thomas Zurbuchen, assistant administrator for NASA’s Science Missions Directorate. Drilling the well is the first step in the sampling process and is expected to take about 11 days. It is needed to search for signs of ancient microbial life that could have survived in the sediments of ancient lakes. Scientists also hope to better understand Martian geology.
However, the researchers later found that the first attempt at collecting soil was unsuccessful. There was not a single stone or soil sample in the collection for the device materials.
Scientists want to continue collecting – they believe that 3.5 billion years ago there was a deep lake in the crater, the conditions in which could support extraterrestrial life. NASA plans to bring about 30 samples to Earth in the 2030s for analysis using much more sophisticated instruments.