We see inside the tube that holds the first cored sample of Mars rock, seen in focus at center. The dark ring is the tube’s outer wall. After the photo was taken the tube was sealed with a metal cap. Contributed / NASA, JPL-Caltech
The rover used the drill at the end of its robotic arm to core out two samples from the suitcase-sized Rochette on Sept. 1 and again on the 7th. But the agency had to wait for better lighting to get a clear photo of the samples before announcing it had the goods. They’re now safely inside hermetically sealed titanium tubes each about the thickness of a pencil.
Sample tube number 266, seen here before launch, was used to collect the first sample of Martian rock by the Perseverance rover. Each sample tube weighs less than 2 ounces (57 grams) and is about 6 inches long. A white exterior coating guards against heating by the sun, which could potentially affect the sample’s chemistry. Contributed / NASA, JPL-Caltech
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