Mission scientists said on Wednesday that an instrument called SuperCam onboard the Perseverance Mars probe has collected the first batch of samples to find past lives on the red planet.

Jean-Yves le Gall, the chairman of the French National Center for Space Research (CNES), has now brought the recovered rocks and soil back to Earth for many years. “This will make scientists the holy grail of planetary exploration.”, Commented via YouTube broadcast.

He said that these “Martian fragments” may “finally answer this fascinating basic question: Is there life besides the Earth?”

After flying in space for seven months, NASA’s Perseverance Rover gently landed on the Martian soil last month and sent back a black and white image revealing Jezero Crater located north of the Martian equator. Rocky field.

“The key part of this astrobiological mission is SuperCam,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, deputy director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

A shoebox-sized Gizmo is installed on the mast of the rover, equipped with a spectrometer, laser and audio recording equipment to analyze the chemical, mineralogical and molecular composition of the famous red surface of Mars.

SuperCam’s laser can pierce objects smaller than the tip of a pencil from a distance of up to 7 meters (20 feet), and can observe points that the rover’s robotic arm cannot reach.

Roger Wiens, an engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and SuperCam’s principal investigator, said: “The laser has the unique ability to remove dust on the surface remotely, allowing all instruments to see clearly. aims.

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LANL’s Scott Robinson revealed that the mission suffered serious misfortune before it took off. He said that more than 500 engineers and scientists contributed to the project.

He explained: “The optics of the mast unit was damaged by an accident only four months before delivery.” “The team scrambled to assemble the parts together to rebuild the telescope from scratch.”

Facts have proved that the accident was a blessing in disguise.

A “freak accident”
When reassembling the unit, the engineer discovered what Robinson called the “Hubble-like” defect in the original mirror.

Shortly after the Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, operators realized that there was aberration in the main mirror of the observatory, and later corrected it, which affected the sharpness of the image.

Scientists believe that about 3.5 billion years ago, the crater where the Perseverance landed was the source of a river that flowed into a deep lake and deposited sediment in a fan-shaped delta.

The task of the rover is to collect more than two dozen rock and soil samples in sealed tubes, and then send them back to Earth for analysis sometime in the 2030s.

Regarding the size and weight of the SUV, Perseverance is equipped with a two-meter (seven-foot) robotic arm, 19 cameras, two microphones, and other advanced instruments.

The small helicopter drone hidden under the abdomen will try its first powered flight on another planet in a few weeks.

An instrument on board is designed to produce oxygen from the main carbon dioxide gas on Mars, which will greatly promote human habitation.

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Perseverance is the fifth rover carrying Mars, all rover from NASA. This feat was first completed in 1997.

Its core mission only lasted for more than two years, but the rover may continue to operate.


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