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NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover Collects 20th Sample

Rock Samples
Rock samples collected from the Jezero Crater on Mars
Photo courtesy of NASA

NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is building a unique rock collection, which also includes samples of Mars atmosphere and loose surface material. These samples record the geological make-up and history of the Jezero Crater landing site:

Sample No. Date Sealed Sol Sealed Sample Name Feature Name Sampling Location Current Location Sample Type Sample Height Rock Type
1 Aug. 6, 2021 164 Roubion Roubion Polygon Valley Sample Depot Atmospheric n/a n/a n/a
2 Sept. 6, 2021 194 Montdenier Rochette Artuby Ridge Sample Depot Rock Core 5.98 2.35 Igneous
3 Sept. 8, 2021 196 Montagnac Rochette Artuby Ridge Perseverance Rover Rock Core 6.14 2.42 Igneous
4 Nov. 15, 2021 262 Salette Brac South Séítah Perseverance Rover Rock Core 6.28 2.47 Igneous
5 Nov. 24, 2021 271 Coulettes Brac South Séítah Sample Depot Rock Core 3.30 1.30 Igneous
6 Dec. 22, 2021 298 Robine Issole South Séítah Perseverance Rover Rock Core 6.08 2.39 Igneous
7 Jan. 31, 2022 337 Malay Issole South Séítah Sample Depot Rock Core 3.07 1.21 Igneous
8 March 7, 2022 371 Ha'ahóni (aka "Hahonih") Sid Octavia E. Butler Landing/Ch’ał outcrop Perseverance Rover Rock Core 6.50 2.56 Igneous
9 March 13, 2022 377 Atsá (aka "Atsah") Sid Octavia E. Butler Landing/Ch’ał outcrop Sample Depot Rock Core 6.00 2.36 Igneous
10 July 7, 2022 490 Swift Run Skinner Ridge Delta Front Perseverance Rover Rock Core 6.69 2.63 Sedimentary
11 July 12, 2022 495 Skyland Skinner Ridge Delta Front Sample Depot Rock Core 5.85 2.30 Sedimentary
12 July 27, 2022 509 Hazeltop Wildcat Ridge Delta Front Perseverance Rover Rock Core 5.97 2.35 Sedimentary
13 Aug. 3, 2022 516 Bearwallow Wildcat Ridge Delta Front Sample Depot Rock Core 6.24 2.46 Sedimentary
14 Oct. 2, 2022 575 Shuyak Amalik Delta Front Perseverance Rover Rock Core 5.55 2.19 Sedimentary
15 Nov. 16, 2022 619 Mageik Amalik Delta Front Sample Depot Rock Core 7.36 2.90 Sedimentary
16 Nov. 29, 2022 631 Kukaklek Hidden Harbor Delta Front Perseverance Rover Rock Core 4.97 1.96 Sedimentary
17 Dec. 2, 2022 634 Atmo Mountain Observation Mountain Delta Front Perseverance Rover Regolith 5.30 2.09 Likely mixed sedimetary and igneous grains
18 Dec. 7, 2022 639 Crosswind Lake Observation Mountain Delta Front Sample Depot Regolith 5.30 2.09 Likely mixed sedimetary and igneous grains
19 March 30, 2023 749 Melyn Berea Upper Fan Perseverance Rover Rock Core 6.04 2.38 Sedimentary
20 June 23, 2023 832 Otis Peak Emerald Lake Upper Fan Perseverance Rover Rock Core 5.77 2.27 Sedimentary

Perseverance is the first part of a NASA-ESA (European Space Agency) three stage Mars Sample Return campaign to collect samples so that they can be brought to Earth by and studied by lab equipment that’s too large and complex to take to Mars. Scientists will be able to look at each pebble and fragment to determine details such as its age, what the environmental conditions were like when the rock formed, and whether it contains signs of ancient microbial life.

A Sample Retrieval Lander would land near or in Jezero Crater, bringing a small rocket on which the samples collected by Perseverance would be loaded. Two Ingenuity-like helicopters would provide a secondary capability to retrieve samples on the surface of Mars and once the sample cache is launched off the Red Planet, a third spacecraft would capture it in Mars orbit, and then bring it to Earth safely and securely in the early to mid 2030s.

These first collected and returned samples could answer a key question: did life ever exist on Mars? Only by bringing the samples to Earth can we truly answer the question.

Quick Facts
ProgramMars Sample Return
Main JobDeliver samples collected by the Mars Perseverance rover to Earth
LaunchPlanned launches in 2027 (orbiter) and 2028 (lander)
Landing LocationJezero Crater
Return of SamplesExpected to arrive on Earth in 2033
Sample Return
Joint NASA/ESA planned mission to return the samples to Earth
Photo courtesy of NASA/ESA


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