Mars dust won’t bury the Perseverance rover’s rock sampling tubes.

Neither dust, nor wind, nor the darkness of night will disturb the new hoard of precious Mars samples on the Red Planet.

This month, NASA’s Perseverance rover is dropping a lighthouse-sized cache of material on the surface of Mars to lie in wait as a backup for future sample-return missions. Perseverance collects two samples at each location and takes one set with it. If the rover cannot transport the samples in its belly to a waiting spacecraft, two helicopters will instead carry backup surface tubes to a return rocket in 2030.

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