PIA24307: Anatomy of a Sample Tube Interior
 Mission:  Mars 2020 Rover
 Spacecraft:  Perseverance
 Product Size:  3840 x 2160 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA24307.tif (6.336 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA24307.jpg (307.7 kB)

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Figure 1

This illustration depicts the interior of a sample tube being carried aboard the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover.

About the size and shape of a standard lab test tube, the 43 sample tubes headed to Mars must be lightweight, hardy enough to survive the demands of the round trip, and so clean that future scientists will be confident that what they are analyzing is 100% Mars, without Earthly contaminants.


  • Plunger: Works in concert with the spring to release (retract) or activate (extend) the two exterior-mounted ball locks.
  • Springs: Along with the plunger, acts to release or activate the ball locks.
  • Payload Cavity: Also known as the bore, is the area in the tube where cores of Martian rock and samples of regolith will be stored.
  • Titanium Nitride Coating: The specialized surface treatment resists contamination.
  • Hermetic Seal: This mechanically-activated plug is designed to ensure that no contaminants can get into the sample tube and that nothing from inside the tube can get out.

JPL built and will manage operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.

For more information about the mission, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020.

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