NASA’s Perseverance rover recently completed the first “sample depot on another world” by dropping the tenth and final sample tube.
Why in News?
- The tube will be part of a depot that will be considered for the return to Earth as part of the Mars Sample Return Campaign.
About Perseverance rover:
- It is robotic explorer to land on Mars as part of NASA’s ongoing Mars 2020 Mission.
- Main Job: Seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for possible return to Earth.
- The rover will collect samples of rock and soil, encase them in tubes, and leave them on the planet's surface to be returned to Earth at a future date.
- Launch: It was launched on July 30, 2020 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- Landing: Successfully landed on the surface of Mar's Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.
- It is about 3 metres long, 2.7 metres wide, and 2.2 metres tall.
- It is about the size of a car, but weighs only about 1,025 kilograms with all instruments on board.
- Power source: Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). Converts heat from the radioactive decay of plutonium into electricity.
- It is a small, autonomous aircraft.
- Main Job: Technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars.
- The helicopter rode to Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover.
It became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet.
Q1) What is Mars 2020 Mission?
The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The mission addresses high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, including key questions about the potential for life on Mars.