I saw this recently on Space.com – NASA’s Perseverance rover has taken the 1st steps in decades-long dream of Mars sample return: https://www.space.com/perseverance-mars-rover-first-two-samples. Slightly longer article, but here’s what I considered relevant.
By Meghan Bartels September 10, 2021
NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars has begun its out-of-this-world rock collection.
The rover, which is designed to search for signs of ancient life on Mars and to package up material for a future sample-return mission, made its first two successful sampling maneuvers on Monday and Wednesday (Sept. 6 and Sept. 8). NASA scientists describing the collection said they’re thrilled with what they know so far about the two rock cores.
“This is a truly historic achievement, the very first rock cores collected on another terrestrial planet — it’s amazing,” Meenakshi Wadhwa, Mars sample return principal scientist, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California and Arizona State University, said during a news conference held Friday (Sept. 10).
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