NASA‘s Perseverance Rover on Mars is preparing to take its first geological sample from the red planet as a part of its effort to find signs of life, according to statements from the space agency on Wednesday.
The sample will be collected from a location that used to be lake bed, according to reports from AFP. The ‘Cratered Floor Fractured Rough’ region of the Jezero Crater will witness the action, which is expected to be completed within two weeks.
Thomas Zurbuchen, who is an associate administrator at the NASA headquarters, said, “When Neil Armstrong took the first sample from the Sea of Tranquility 52 years ago, he began a process that would rewrite what humanity knew about the Moon. I have every expectation that Perseverance’s first sample from Jezero Crater, and those that come after, will do the same for Mars”, according to reports from AFP.
The rover, which touched the ground in February earlier this year, has displaced itself about a kilometer towards the south.
“Now we’re looking at environments that are much further in the past — billions of years in the past,” he said in a briefing.
The team handling the actions of the mars rover believes that the site could potentially harbour life at a point in time as a lake reportedly existed there once.
A seven feet long robotic arm will be deployed from rover, in the sample collection process. The arm will then gauge the sample it will pick up. Before collecting the sample, an abrasion tool will take off the top layer of the chosen rock.