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Technologies of Broad Benefit
In-situ Exploration and Sample Return
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Sample Return Technologies
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In-situ Exploration and Sample Return: Sample Return Technologies

Sample return technologies enable the collection and return of rock, soil, and atmospheric samples back to Earth for further laboratory analysis.

While the Mars Exploration Rovers did not specifically test any technologies for future sample returns, the mineral analysis of rocks and soils has prepared the way for scientists to know more about what kind of samples they would like to collect on future missions.

There are 2 images, one of the rock 'Clovis' and the other is a graph showing the results from Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.
Data from Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer after the rover dug into Clovis with its rock abrasion tool.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Max Planck Institute

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