One of the most exciting aspects of successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars is the fact that the laboratory-on-wheels will start the first leg in a long-awaited sample-return mission. 

Researchers have never gotten their hands on fresh pieces of the Red Planet, meaning that many key pieces of information — such as the age of features on the Martian surface — remain unknown. Perseverance aims to change that, with a plan to drill and capture up to 30 test-tube-size samples from the mudstone rocks in its landing site, known as Jezero crater.