Perseverance Rover Prepares to Drop Off Mars Samples for Return Mission



NASA and the ESA have agreed on a location for the Perseverance rover to deposit its first sample cache. The rover, designed with an innovative sample caching system, packages up rock cores in pristine metal tubes that will protect them from contamination on the return journey. While the rover drops off its first collection of samples, engineers back on Earth are working on prototypes for the return campaign. The prototypes are expected to have no defects or software glitches




The Perseverance rover is a well-equipped robot with a gaggle of cameras, multiple spectrometers, and even a little box that makes oxygen. You can’t get every possible scientific instrument on a Mars-bound rover, though. To really understand the red planet, we need to get samples back to Earth, and Perseverance is preparing to take the next step in making that happen. NASA and the ESA have agreed on a location for Perseverance to deposit the first sample cache, which could be retrieved a few years down the line in the NASA-ESA Mars Sample Return Campaign.

Perseverance Roverは、カメラ、複数の分光計、さらには酸素を作る小さな箱を備えた設備の整ったロボットです。ただし、すべての可能な科学的機器を火星に縛られたローバーに手に入れることはできません。赤い惑星を本当に理解するには、サンプルを地球に戻す必要があり、忍耐力はそれを実現するための次の一歩を踏み出す準備をしています。NASAとESAは、最初のサンプルキャッシュを預けるための忍耐の場所に同意しました。

During its time on Mars, Perseverance will analyze numerous samples with the tools at its disposal, but the team is also carefully curating a collection of samples that will come back to Earth. The rover was designed with an innovative sample caching system, which packages up rock cores in pristine metal tubes that will protect them from contamination on the return journey. So far, Perseverance has collected 14 rock-core samples in the tubes. The robot has several dozen sample tubes at its disposal.


NASA and the ESA have agreed that the first batch of samples will be deposited at a site known as Three Forks, near the base of the ancient river delta in Jezero Crater. The mission to retrieve the samples is still evolving, so the team has to make some guesses about how the Return Campaign will work.


A few months ago, the agencies updated the plan to drop a second rover that was supposed to fly with the return vehicle. Now, Perseverance will be the primary means of getting samples to the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). It will also have a pair of helicopters based on Ingenuity’s wildly successful design. The tube cache at Three Forks will act as a backup in the event Perseverance cannot rendezvous with the MAV or an issue pops up in the sample caching system.

数ヶ月前、代理店は、帰還車両とともに飛ぶことになっていた2番目のローバーを落とす計画を更新しました。現在、忍耐力は、火星上昇車両(MAV)にサンプルを取得する主な手段になります。また、Ingenuityの大成功を収めたデザインに基づいたヘリコプターもあります。Three Forksのチューブキャッシュは、忍耐力がMAVでランデブスすることができない場合のバックアップとして機能します。

While Perseverance drops off its first collection of samples, engineers back on Earth have begun the process of testing hardware for the return campaign. In what is known as “Phase B,” the team is working to develop prototypes that will eventually become the final flight hardware, which will hopefully have no defects or software glitches. There’s enough that can go wrong without hardware failures. After landing in Jezero Crater, the MAV will deposit the recovered tubes into a rocket that blasts them into orbit. At that point, an ESA spacecraft will have to pick them up and make its way back to Earth. If all goes as planned, the samples could be back on Earth as soon as 2033.


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