This is how NASA plans to bring back a bit of Mars to Earth

Having performed dry runs on Mars, NASA's Perseverance will now get down to drilling soil samples and returning them to the Earth | Image - Eunice Dhivya

For the first 100 sols (Martian days), NASA's Perseverance rover was occupied with testing its instruments, sending to Earth pictures and sounds of Mars, performing dry runs and monitoring Ingenuity's (Mars helicopter) activities.

Now with these preliminary activities in order, Perseverance will get down to tackling its primary agenda of digging up Mars for soil samples.

Over the next two earth years, Perseverance will extensively explore the Jezero crater bed. It will collect rocks and dust samples from Mars to send back to Earth for analysis.

The rover will drill through the surface, scoop up core soil samples, pack them into cigar-sized containers (each holding about 14 grams of the pristine Martian dust), and hermetically seal them. The canisters will be cached around the exploration area. After some time, another rover will go to Mars, collect the canisters from the designated spots and bring them back to Earth.

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