NASA thinks it knows the reason for the disappearance of the rock sample of the Mars probe

This drill pit was supposed to give the first rock sample of the Perseverance Rover.


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

Rocks don’t just disappear into the air. NASA has since baffled the mystery of Mars The persistent rover tried to collect its first rock sample last week. When the rover examined the sample inside the collecting tube, it found nothing. Turns out the rock itself might be wrong.

The rover dug into a promising rock in Jezero Crater, an ancient lake bed. The sampling process appears to be working as expected. It was supposed to be the first piece of rock the rover had stored for Return to Earth on a futuristic mission.

NASA is evaluating the data and taking a closer look at the drilling site to find out what happened and why the sample tube ended up empty. «It appears that the rock was not strong enough to produce a core,» Louise Jandoura said, the chief engineer for sampling and buffering, in a statement Wednesday.

A photo of the pit vehicle shows where the perseverance wagon was trying to extract its first specimen to store in a tube. The diameter of the well is more than one inch.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

The images show crushed rock around the drill hole, indicating that the rock simply collapsed. «It is likely that the material from the core needed will either be at the bottom of the hole, in the cutting pile, or a combination of both,» Gondora said.

Perseverance is equipped with 43 sample tubes, so losing a single rock isn’t a blow to the mission. The rover is on its way to another sampling location where it will try again. The team expects to find a rock more suitable for sampling for its collection.

The good news is that persistence sampling appears to be working quite well. An uncooperative rock won’t slow the rover’s scientific movement.

Continued CNET . Space Calendar 2021 To keep up with the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your Google Calendar.

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Olga Dmitrieva

Любитель алкоголя. Возмутитель спокойствия. Интроверт. Студент. Любитель социальных сетей. Веб-ниндзя. Поклонник Бэкона. Читатель

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