The set of instruments called the SuperCam equipped on the Perseverance Mars Rover had gathered together its first samples while on the hunt for signs of past life on Mars, said the mission scientists on Wednesday.
Spending seven months in space, NASA’s Perseverance rover got to rest on the Martian soil in the previous month. It sent back white and black pictures showing the rocky fields of Jezero Crater, situated at the Northside of the Mars equator.
“The critical component of this astrobiology mission is SuperCam,” stated Thomas Zurbuchen, deputy head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
Equipped on the Rover’s mast, a small box-sized Gizmo contains spectrometers, a laser, and audio analyzing equipment to analyze the red surface’s Chemistry and molecular composition.
SuperCam’s sharp camera can capture crystal-clear pictures of objects smaller than a pencil tip. And is designed to observe and analyze spots that are out of the Rover’s reach.
“The laser is uniquely capable of remotely clearing away surface dust, giving all of its instruments a clear view of the targets,” said Roger Wiens, an engineer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and SuperCam principal investigator.
The lunar rover is assigned to collect about 20-30 rock samples contained in sealed tubes. Those sealed rock samples will be dispatched to earth by the 2030s for deeper analysis.
The Perseverance is about the size of an SUV and contains a two-meter robotic arm, a total of 19 cameras, a pair of microphones, and other modern tech equipment.
A cutting-edge technology compact helicopter drone inside the SUV’s compartment will venture on the maiden flight to another planet in few weeks.
The lunar rover has another key equipment, the one of major importance. It is the machine that converts carbon dioxide to oxygen and holds a substantial role in the future habitation of human beings on the planet.
It is the most advanced and fifth rover that landed on the surface of the red planet. Its core mission is expected to complete in the coming two years. However, the Rover is designed to last much longer than that on the planet humans want to develop the most.