PIA25048: Testing a Roubion-Like Rock
 Mission:  Mars 2020 Rover
 Spacecraft:  Perseverance
 Product Size:  4032 x 3024 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA25048.tif (32.7 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA25048.jpg (1.618 MB)

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Engineers working with NASA's Perseverance Mars rover set up this test area at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in late 2021 to practice drilling into crumbly rocks using a duplicate of the rover's rock-coring drill. Perseverance's drill was designed to provide solid rock cores roughly the size of a piece of chalk; however, the rover's first sample, nicknamed "Roubion," collapsed into powder, prompting a test campaign.

A key objective for Perseverance's mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet's geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA's Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

For more about Perseverance:



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