New Mars rover's first sample vanished, but NASA thinks it knows why

NASA's new Mars rover began to take its first samples of the Jezero Crater, but mysteriously, the sample it extracted vanished.

Published Thu, Aug 12 2021 3:04 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Sep 13 2021 5:03 AM CDT

NASA researchers and engineers have been left in disbelief after the space agency's new rover Perseverance collected its first martian sample, only to discover the sample of rock vanished.

New Mars rover's first sample vanished, but NASA thinks it knows why 01 |

Last week, NASA's Perseverance rover began its long search for signs of ancient martian life in the Jezero Crater as researchers believe the crater was once a large lake that may have hosted life. Perseverance used its instrument to drill into the ground to collect a rock sample from deep beneath the martian surface, but when the sample tube was raised to the surface, nothing was inside of it.

NASA has said that the problem doesn't lay with Perseverance, but actually with the rock that the rover is trying to sample from. According to Louise Jandura, chief engineer for sampling and caching, "It appears that the rock was not robust enough to produce a core". Essentially, NASA believes that the rock that was drilled into was much too powdery to be collected. "The material from the desired core is likely either in the bottom of the hole, in the cuttings pile, or some combination of both," Jandura said.

New Mars rover's first sample vanished, but NASA thinks it knows why 02 |

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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