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Perseverance Mars Rover Fails to Collect Rock Sample on First Attempt, But Successfully Drills Hole

© REUTERS / NASA/JPL-CaltechA portion of a panorama made up of individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover shows the Martian landscape February 20, 2021.
A portion of a panorama made up of individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover shows the Martian landscape February 20, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.08.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Perseverance Rover failed to collect a rock sample on Mars in its first attempt, NASA said in a press release.
"Data sent to Earth by NASA's Perseverance rover after its first attempt to collect a rock sample on Mars and seal it in a sample tube indicate that no rock was collected during the initial sampling activity," the release said on Friday.
The Perseverance mission is assembling a response team to assess and resolve the situation, the release said.
In a separate statement, NASA said that the rover successfully drilled a hole. The failed attempt to seal a sample in the tube is something that did not occur when the equipment was tested on Earth, NASA said.
The rover carries 43 titanium sample tubes and is equipped with a hollow coring bit and percussive drill at the end of tis 7-foot-long robotic arm to extract samples.
The six-wheel rover that landed on Mars in February is now positioned at a site believed to contain the deepest and most ancient layers of exposed bedrock in a dry lake bed known as the Jezero Crater. The rover will collect two samples at this site, including a specimen for what NASA called "proximity science."
The samples will then be sealed and stored for subsequent NASA missions, now in development in with the European Space Agency, that would send spacecraft to Mars to collect the sealed samples and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.
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