NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has run into one other snag on its mission to seek out proof of historical microbial life.
In persevering with to gather Martian rock and regolith samples, which can ultimately return to Earth, the rover encountered a “new problem.”
“Appears some pebble-sized particles is obstructing my robotic arm from handing off the tube for sealing/storage,” the Perseverance group tweeted earlier this month.
Now, NASA’s Mars 2020 mission group says it has a plan to take care of the obstruction from the rover’s bit carousel: operational sequences developed and examined over the earlier weekend and final week.
“With terrestrial experimentation full, we’ve got begun executing our mitigation technique on Mars,” Jennifer Trosper, the mission supervisor at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), wrote Friday. “On Jan. 12 we did an in depth picture survey of the bottom beneath Perseverance. This was carried out so we might have a good suggestion what rocks and pebbles exist already down there earlier than some extra – from our bit carousel – be a part of them within the not-so-distant future. “
With the imaging, the group launched into a maneuver with the robotic arm she “by no means imagined we might carry out – ever.”
The contents of its newest cored-rock pattern – the sixth rock core – shall be returned to the floor of Mars in what Trosper referred to as a “pretty simple course of.”
The group despatched instructions as much as the rover’s robotic arm on Thursday and Friday.
“I think about your subsequent query is, ‘Why are you dumping out the contents of the pattern tube?’ The reply is that, at current, we aren’t sure how a lot cored rock continues to reside in Tube 261. And whereas this rock won’t ever make my vacation card record, the science group actually appears to love it. So if our plans go nicely with our pebble mitigation (see beneath), we could very nicely try to core ‘Issole’ (the rock from which this pattern was taken) once more,” she continued.
Additional instructions have been to be despatched Friday to order the rover to do two rotation checks of the bit carousel that can execute this weekend.
“Our expectations are that these rotations – and any subsequent pebble motion – will assist information our group, offering them the mandatory info on methods to proceed. Nonetheless, to be thorough, we’re additionally commanding the rover to take a second set of under-chassis photos, simply in case a number of pebbles occur to pop free,” Trosper continued.
She mentioned the group expects the imagery and knowledge from the 2 checks to be despatched to Earth by Jan. 18.
“The Perseverance group is exploring each aspect of the problem to make sure that we not solely do away with this rocky particles but in addition forestall the same reoccurrence throughout future sampling. Primarily, we’re leaving no rock unturned within the pursuit of those 4 pebbles,” Trosper concluded.
Perseverance additionally bumped into a problem throughout its first sampling try in August.