The bit carousel – a mechanism that will play a key role in the acquisition, containment and eventual return to Earth of humanity’s first samples from another planet – has been incorporated into NASA’s Mars 2020 rover.
“The bit carousel is at the heart of the sampling and caching subsystem,” said Keith Rosette, Mars 2020 sample handling delivery manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “It contains all of the tools the coring drill uses to sample the Martian surface and is the gateway for the samples to move into the rover for assessment and processing.”
Looking somewhat like an extraterrestrial version of a 1960s slide projector, Mars 2020′s bit carousel is home to nine drill bits that facilitate sample acquisition and surface analysis: two for abrading, one for regolith (rock and soil) and six for coring. The coring and regolith bits are used to place Martian samples in a clean sample collection tube, while the abrader bit is used to scrape the top layers of rocks to expose un-weathered surfaces for study… [More at link]