NASA’s Mars Explorer Persistence took a sample to replace material stuck in its throat.
Perseverance drilled into a rock called Issole on December 29, 2021, collecting its sixth coal sample since touching down inside the Red Planet’s Jezero crater last February. But the car-sized rover unable to seal titanium tube as plannedan issue that the mission team soon discovered could cause a blockage in the sample handling system of Perseverance.
Perseverance broke the rock core between January and shake the free pebbles last week. Those activities cleared the way for the next sample-collection effort, which the six-wheeled robot just stopped at Issole.
“This rock almost surprised me when I came back! Thankfully, I was able to collect another sample here to replace the one I removed earlier. This could be one of the oldest rocks. that I sampled, so it can help us understand the history of this place. #SamplingMars,” mission team members wrote on Monday (January 31). via Perseverance’s official Twitter account.
The Twitter post includes photos of the pitifully scarred Issole and a photograph of the newly collected rock core.
Collecting such samples is one of the two main mission goals of Perseverance, along with finding signs of the past. Life on Mars inside Jezero. The team’s ultimate goal is to collect several dozen samples that will be returned to Earth, perhaps as early as 2031, by a joint European Space Agency-NASA operation.
Jezero is a great place to do such work, scientists and NASA officials say, because the crater contained a lake and a river delta billions of years ago. The petrified ruins of that delta still linger on Jezero’s floor, and the mission team is eager to explore and sample those ancient pieces.
Eleni Ravanis, member of rover wrote in a blog post in Monday. But Ravanis, associate of Perseverance students at the University of Hawai’i in Mānoa, adds. It will first study a nearby site called Rimpllas, and may also drill a few cores in the area, including from Roubion, the first Red Planet rock Perseverance attempted to sample. That attempt, in August 2021, failed because of the unexpected rock broken when the rover drills into it.
“These decisions, because of all the decisions about a mission as complex and ambitious as Mars 2020, will be a balance between sols (the Martian days we’ll be going through) and a return to Mars.” science expected,” Ravanis wrote, referring to the official name of Perseverance’s mission.
“Then we’ll start a[kilometer] in order to achieve the delta as soon as possible. Along the way, scientific observations could include investigations of the craters we pass through during our journey to the delta,” added Ravanis. This could be particularly helpful for understanding the sequence of events at Jezero Crater, which can be revealed in exposures along the crater’s walls. “
Mike Wall is the author of “Out there“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow them on Twitter @Spacedotcom or above Facebook.
https://www.space.com/mars-rover-perseverance-clears-clog-collects-sample Mars rover Perseverance collects new samples after clearing blockages with cobblestone