NASA Teases A Major Mars Announcement Today: Watch The Livestream Here

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NASA is prepared to announce its response to a Mars Sample Return Independent Review Board report from last September. The space agency has invited media and the public to join a livestream of the teleconference later today.

The Mars Sample Return has been an ongoing process since NASA’s Perseverance rover began collecting science samples from Mars. The samples will help scientists back on Earth better understand the geological history of the Red Planet, the evolution of its climate, and prepare for future manned missions on the planet. Samples will also be vital in the search for signs of ancient life that may have existed long ago on Mars.

The teleconference will include speakers Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator and associate administrator, Science Directorate, Nicky Fox. During the livestream, Nelson and Fox will discuss the agency’s recommendations in terms of a path forward for the Mars Sample Return within a balanced overall science program.

The most recent rock sample collected by Perseverance, the 24th overall, was gathered at the Jezero Crater. Analysis by instruments aboard the rover showed that the latest rock core taken was “awash in water for an extended period of time in the distant past, perhaps as part of an ancient Martian beach,” according to NASA. Perseverance has collected 21 sample tubes filled with rock cores, two filled with regolith (broken rock and dust), and one with Martian atmosphere.

In regard to the latest sample collected, Ken Farley, project scientist for Perseverance at Caltech in Pasadena, remarked, “To put it simply, this is the kind of rock we had hoped to find when we decided to investigate Jezero Crater. Nearly all the minerals in the rock we just sampled were made in water; on Earth, water-deposited minerals are often good at trapping and preserving ancient organic material and biosignatures.”

Today’s livestream is scheduled to start at 1pm EDT. It can be viewed via the link provided above, or by visiting NASA’s media channel on the web.
Tags:  space, NASA, mars, Livestream