NASA rover’s first Mars rock pattern crumbled, so it is getting into for an additional


percysamplerock

Good day, Martian rock. This one is nicknamed “Rochette.”


NASA/JPL-Caltech

This story is part of Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

NASA’s Perseverance staff thought it was about to rejoice the triumphant assortment of the rover’s first Martian rock pattern earlier in August, however all they got was an empty tube. The rover is now able to strive once more with a distinct, hopefully a lot much less crumbly rock.

The sampling operation is thrilling partly as a result of NASA intends to someday ship a mission to pick up the samples from the Jezero Crater and convey them again to Earth for examine. 

NASA has zeroed in on a rock nicknamed “Rochette.” The rover will tough up the rock a bit with an abrading software to get a greater look and assist the staff determine if that is certainly the rock they need to pattern. If it is a go, the rover will drill into the rock, acquire a pencil-thick core piece and seal it right into a pattern tube. 

Perseverance is trying out a craggy ridge named “Citadelle.” “The ridge is capped with a layer of rock that seems to withstand wind erosion, an indication it is extra more likely to maintain up throughout drilling,” NASA said in a statement on Thursday. NASA tweeted out some views of the area and the potential rock goal.

After the shocking end result with the primary pattern try, the staff will use one of many rover’s cameras to look into the pattern tube and ensure there’s rock inside earlier than sealing it. 

The primary tube will not go to waste. NASA scientists are excited the rock-less tube is stuffed with Mars’ environment as an alternative. “By returning samples to Earth, we hope to reply a lot of scientific questions, together with the composition of Mars’ environment,” mentioned Perseverance venture scientist Ken Farley.    

Perseverance is capturing photographs of the Mars panorama, learning the geology and climate and in search of indicators of historic microbial life. The profitable seize of its first rock core will probably be an occasion value cheering about. 

Observe CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to remain updated with all the most recent house information this yr. You’ll be able to even add it to your individual Google Calendar.   





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