The Mars Perseverance rover is the first leg of NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) Mars Sample Return Campaign’s interplanetary relay team. Its job is to collect and cache samples on Mars. A Sample Retrieval Lander would land near or in Jezero Crater, bringing a small rocket on which the samples collected by Perseverance would be loaded.

The Perseverance rover is currently searching for signs of ancient microbial life, by drilling into Martian rock to collect samples of rock, soil, and atmosphere. The samples are stored in sealed tubes for future pick up, by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. The rover is also testing technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars.

Mars Rock Samples

Learn more about the diverse set of samples the rover has collected, which could one day be returned to Earth by Mars Sample Return.

View Rock Samples
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