Meet The Mars Samples: Melyn (Sample 19)

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
August 27, 2023
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Meet The Mars Samples: Melyn (Sample 19)
Melyn (Sample 19) sampling location

Meet one of the Martian samples that has been collected and is awaiting return to Earth as part of the Mars Sample Return campaign. As of early August 2023, NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover has collected and sealed 20 scientifically selected samples inside pristine tubes. The next stage is to get them back for study.

Considered one of the highest priorities by the scientists in the Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032, Mars Sample Return would be the first mission to return samples from another planet and provides the best opportunity to reveal the early evolution of Mars, including the potential for ancient life. NASA is teaming with ESA (European Space Agency) on this important endeavor.

Learn more about Sample No. 19 – “Melyn,” the first sample the rover collected after climbing up onto the ancient delta formation in Mars’ Jezero Crater. The rocks in this area were deposited in an ancient river environment, as opposed to the rover’s earlier samples from the ancient lakebed. Due to a type of mineral called carbonate found in this rock, scientists believe this sample could be well-suited to record the signatures of past water history on Mars.

Read about all the carefully selected samples:

Learn more about the Mars Sample Return campaign:

A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover characterizes the planet’s geology and past climate, paves the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and is the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).


Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻