Almost a year ago, Perseverance landed on the red planet. Since then she has been enthusiastic NASA again and again with the maneuvers and missions that the Mars rover done on the surface. Recently, he was able to solve a complicated problem that arose when collecting stone samples.
NASA’s Mars Rover “repairs” itself
On December 29, NASA faced an unforeseen obstacle. When he was supposed to stow away the rock samples he had collected, parts of them fell out of the tube into the rotating mechanism of his drilling tool. This was blocked as a result. What then followed was a step that one of the scientists involved would never have imagined. In a blog post she writes:
“(…) the team began a maneuver with the robotic arm that I had never imagined performing – ever. In short, we have returned the remaining contents of Sample Tube 261 (our most recent rock sample collected) to its planet of origin.”
Jennifer Trosper, project manager at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
NASA also had a corresponding video clip via the “Percy” Twitter account. posted. It shows small chunks falling out of the Mars rover’s drill. The vehicle “explains” why this is necessary:
“In order to continue (running) #SamplingMars, I emptied my most recent partial sample. Watch closely to see a piece of the drilled rock fall to the ground in this film. Luckily I can reuse the tube for a new sample of the same stone.”
Not NASA’s first misdrilled hole
This was not the first incident of this kind for Perseverance. It was only in early January that an anomaly in the drill paralyzed the Mars rover. And there were also complications with his very first sample collection on the red planet. At that time, the stone collected by NASA suddenly disappeared.
Sources: NASA Mars Mission 2020, Twitter/@NASAPersevere