how to follow the announcements of NASA on the first Martian samples

NASA will give more details following the first two samples of Perseverance on Mars. The rover managed to extract two pieces of its target, “Rochette”. Here’s how to follow space agency announcements.

Two Martian samples are now well protected in the “belly” of Perseverance. On September 9, 2021, NASA confirmed that his rover had taken a second extract from “Rochette”, the rock in which he had already drilled. In order to give more details on these successful samples (after a first failure), NASA is organizing Event to follow live.

  • When ? Friday September 10, 2021, from 6 p.m.
  • Where ? Live on the youtube channel from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), or via the web TV from NASA.
  • What ? The first scientific results linked to the first two samples from the Perseverance rover on Mars.
Small tubes, more small tubes. // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama

Tubes that must one day return to Earth

During this live, several experts from the space agency will be gathered to discuss the first discoveries made with the rover’s instruments on “Rochette”, the target in which Perseverance collected its first two samples. There should also be talk of the future sample return mission which should one day bring back to Earth the sealed tubes of the rover. NASA and ESA are currently planning a return in two stages, with a small rover responsible for collecting the tubes, as well as a vessel ensuring the return to Earth.

The extracts collected by Perseverance could thus be analyzed with larger and more efficient instruments than those that can be carried on board a rover. For the first time, there is a microbiological dimension (study of life) in this return of samples. The rover itself does not have the means to search for life (which, if it exists or has existed on Mars, must be in the form of microorganisms). It should also be noted that if one found clues of a past or present life in the Martian samples of Perseverance, once back on Earth, it would remain complicated to confirm such a hypothesis.

In addition to this quest for a possible ancient microbial life, Perseverance should in any case allow us to better understand the geology and past climate of Mars. Its experiments should also contribute to the project of a future manned Martian mission – the rover has, for example, already demonstrated that oxygen can be produced on the red planet.

This Friday evening, the public is invited to ask questions on social media during the live stream, using the hashtag #AskNASA.

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