Hole inside a rock.. A picture of the first rock sample...

Hole inside a rock.. A picture of the first rock sample...
Hole inside a rock.. A picture of the first rock sample...

The latest NASA space probe on Mars has succeeded in collecting the first rock sample to return to Earth, after an attempt failed last month.

Adam Steltzner, chief engineer of the Perseverance probe, described the sample as perfect. “I’ve never been happier seeing a hole in a rock,” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

But a month ago, Perseverance drilled into softer rock, and the sample had collapsed and did not enter the titanium tube.

The probe traveled half a mile to a better place for sampling in another attempt. Team members analyzed the data and images before declaring success.

In February, Perseverance reached Jezero crater on Mars, believed to be home to a lush lake bed and river delta billions of years old, in search of rocks that might hold evidence of ancient life.

NASA plans to launch more spacecraft to transport samples collected by Perseverance to Earth.

Engineers hope to return as many as thirty samples to Earth within about a decade.

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