NASA's Mars rover Perseverance dropped its tenth titanium tube with samples taken from the Martian soil on the surface of Mars.
At this point, the work of building a repository for samples of this planet on Mars is considered complete, which took the rover six weeks, according to NASA.
Perseverance, which landed on Mars in February 2021, is studying the Red Planet's ancient astrobiological environment, its surface geological processes, and its history. Data collected by Perseverance is expected to help assess whether the planet was once habitable or not. As part of these missions, Perseverance will drop tubes of Martian soil samples en route to Earth for study.
The titanium tubes were left 5 to 15 meters apart to ensure their safe disposal. The mission team mapped the cache so that the samples could be found even if they were covered in dust. Besides, each container has a different name.
The repository is located on a flat surface at the base of an ancient river delta called the Three Forks. NASA hopes the samples will help understand the geological processes that took place in the Jezero Crater shortly after it formed, nearly 4 billion years ago.
The U.S. space agency earlier announced its intention to open a facility to receive and store soil samples taken from Mars. The facility will be located at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, which specializes in processing and storing samples delivered from other planets.