Perseverance rover confirms organic matter in Mars: NASA
NASA's Mars Perseverance rover has detected organic matter in new soil samples taken from the Jezero Crater.
The Mars Perseverance Rover has discovered organic materials in fresh soil samples collected from the Jezero Crater for examination in search of evidence of ancient bacteria, according to a news statement from NASA scientists on Thursday.
"We found sandstone that carries grains and rock fragments created far from Jezero Crater - and a mudstone that includes intriguing organic compounds," Perseverance Project Scientist Ken Farley of the California Institute of Technology said in the release.
The rock samples analyzed by Perseverance have shown that they include a class of organic molecules that are spatially associated with those of sulfate minerals, according to the press statement.
"The fact [that] the organic matter was found in such a sedimentary rock - known for preserving fossils of ancient life here on Earth - is important," the release added.
The rover has taken four samples from an old river delta in the Jezero Crater since July 7, bringing the total number of scientifically intriguing rock samples gathered by the rover to 12.
Last year, the US space agency (NASA), announced in August that the Perseverance rover was unsuccessful in its attempt to retrieve a rock sample from Mars.
The agency released pictures that depict a mound next to the spacecraft's shadow with a hole in the center, the first hole dug on Mars.
The associate administrator for NASA's science mission directorate tweeted "Sample collection has begun!" However, the data sent back to Earth by the rover indicates that no sample was collected in the first attempt.
My first drill hole on Mars! Collecting and storing rock samples is a big and complex task, and this is a huge step. Next step: processing. #SamplingMarshttps://t.co/Ex1QDo3eC2 pic.twitter.com/JvrZcZ1NPm— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) August 6, 2021
Zurbuchan stated that "while this is not the 'hole-in-one we hoped for, there is always a risk with breaking new ground," adding, "I'm confident we have the right team working this, and we will persevere toward a solution to ensure future success."