Although already displaced from the information center, the truth is that Mars Perseverance is still very active on Martian soil to this day. And although it may seem surprising, the truth is that it continues to star in historical moments, which in many years will be studied milestones in the history of human beings in space exploration. Some are more striking than others, yes, and in this case it may not seem so much, but if your assessment is completed it will change substantially.
And it is that, as we can read on the NASA website, the Mars Perseverance you are completing the preparations prior to taking the first samples. Some samples that, as we already told you at the time, should at some point make a reverse trip to that of the probe. The plan is that at some point in the next decade, humans will be able to carry out a round-trip mission, not necessarily manned, to the red planet. NASA plans speak of a one-way flight in 2026, but today it seems too ambitious a goal.
Thus, the samples that Perseverance will begin to take soon will be conveniently prepared so that a vehicle of that future mission can collect them in a predetermined location with the directions given by Perseverance. Samples that, at least initially, will be taken in a location south of the location where the probe touched down, in the Jezero crater, a cavity that was once a lake on the red planet.
The pointed rocks are described as pale flat cobblestones, which NASA hopes will give a good baseline idea of how the region is geologically. This information will help mission scientists to have much more complete information on the environment. Information that, in turn, could be used to choose which regions the probe will continue to explore, as well as which samples it should take during its explorations.
Before the actual sampling begins, Perseverance will use scientific instruments on his two-meter arm to examine the composition of the rocks. For the moment, NASA is not sure if the rocks are volcanic or sedimentary. That is why the information that can be obtained remotely from these first samples will be of great help to delve into the nature of the environment. Using an abrasive tool that looks like a wide bit, Perseverance will dig through the surface of a rock, blow the dust away with compressed air, and then observe the composition of the rock. After collecting that data, the rover will collect a sample of the same rock at a different location.