NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover said it has seen something “no one has ever seen.” In an update via Twitter, Perseverance said it scratched the Martian surface with a tool attached to its robotic arm while wandering around the Jezero Crater in search of evidence of interest to scientists. When it looked underneath the rock it found something that was surely never seen before. It shared images of the scratched surface and they appeared stunning. These images have raised curiosity about the secrets of the possible existence of life on Mars. Perseverance will collect these samples for further exploration by scientists on Earth.
“Peering inside to look at something no one's ever seen. I've abraded a small patch of this rock to remove the surface layer and get a look underneath,” the post from the official handle of NASA's Perseverance said, adding it was already zeroing in on its next target for sampling Mars.
Separately, NASA released several images of the Red Planet as seen by Perseverance. These include raw images that the rover captured on Mars.
NASA has been sending machines and tools to explore Mars since 1970, but this is the first time any of those machines have looked under the surface in the Jezero Crater region. It may shed light on whether water existed on Mars or not, and if this planet could become habitable for humans one day.
The samples Perseverance is collecting is also of huge significance for further exploration of the planet. NASA is planning a mission to land humans on Mars to explore it and also collect samples. The Perseverance rover will collect samples from Martian rocks and soil using its drill, stated a NASA release on sample handling. The release also outlines 3 steps in handling the samples — collecting the samples, sample sealing and storing onboard, and depositing the samples on the surface.
Perseverance will collect at least 20 samples during its life on Mars. The rover is accompanied by a small helicopter, named Ingenuity, which recently completed its 15th flight.