Perseverance's first collection of soil samples from Mars turned out to be very emotional for scientists. After the rover was sent to collect rock samples, over 90 researchers and scientists gathered online, waiting for the outcome.
The data that the scientists received confirmed that Perseverance successfully drilled 7 centimeters of Martian rock, and an actual hole in the soil was depicted in the images. Scientists were relieved as the next data set was supposed to arrive only 6 hours later.
Later on, telemetry data and images from the camera showed that the sample tubes had been sealed and sent to be stored, which was almost a success. But then scientists received data that said that the tubes were actually empty.
Scientists have been investigating what might have happened for two days. After analyzing the received data, they concluded that the problem was in the soil itself. The Martian rock was simply not robust enough and crumbled into powder.
However, researchers continue to work. NASA noted that the equipment worked as it should, so now they will attempt to collect samples in another area.
The Perseverance rover is now heading to the next scheduled sampling site, previously explored by NASA's Ingenuity helicopter. It is expected that it will have sedimentary rocks, which are easier to collect.