NASA’s Perseverance rover has a strange and unexpected travel companion

NASA’s Perseverance rover is on a single of the most important missions the area agency has at any time had on the Crimson Planet. Tasked with getting proof of ancient lifestyle in a element of the planet believed to be an ancient river delta, the rover has uncovered a quantity of intriguing things. Now, however, it also seems to have picked up an unanticipated touring companion. Perseverance has a pet rock.

NASA’s Perseverance rover picked up a pet rock

Perseverance pet rock
Perseverance’s pet rock is lodged in the rover’s front still left wheel. Graphic source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA shared the good news last 7 days, noting that Perseverance’s pet rock has stuck with the rover for above 100 sols. The room company claims the rock hitched a trip in the rover’s front remaining wheel in early February. Considering the fact that then, it has traveled more than 5.3 miles with the agency’s newest rover.

It’s a little bit of a silly announcement. But, when you are exploring alien planets like Mars, every single minor point can be intriguing in its individual right. Furthermore, Perseverance selecting up an unlikely traveling companion isn’t so unlikely. The Martian surface area is littered with rocks and obstructions. And in the earlier, other rovers have picked up traveling companions. As this kind of, it was only a matter of time for Perseverance.

The good news is, Perseverance’s pet rock isn’t leading to any problems to the rover’s wheel. It has been together for a bumpy ride, although. The rover has steadily been earning its way up in the direction of an ancient river delta.

The moment there, it intends to lookup the delta for signs of historic everyday living. Considering the fact that its landing, Perseverance has explored components of the Jezero crater. Other rovers have also found proof of the constructing blocks of existence on Mars.

NASA hopes that Perseverance can find even more proof.

Future confusion

A picture captured by the Mars Perseverance rover. Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Even though the rock hitching a experience in Perseverance’s wheel is not a great deal of a menace to the rover, experts say there could be upcoming implications.

When Perseverance picked up its pet rock, the rover was however checking out the floor of the Jezero crater. Now, above 100 sols later, the rover is effectively on its way to the Jezero delta. Really should it drop out at any time quickly, NASA expects it to land with rocks that are produced up of quite unique elements than it is.

5.3 miles doesn’t audio that significantly, right? But, for a compact rock, it is a planet away from in which it was picked up. And which is where by individuals future implications arrive into engage in.

As NASA notes in the announcement, the rock could pretty well slide in a area it does not suit in. If that comes about, it could confuse upcoming Mars geologists. This is why the area agency issued a fairly silly warning soon after saying Perseverance’s pet rock.

If you’re studying Mars down the line and you’re mapping out the Jezero crater, you could possibly obtain a tiny rock that looks very well out of put. Unfortunately, it’s not likely an alien set it there. Rather, it possibly hitched a journey on Perseverance. If only that rock could communicate, it could notify us so much about the rover’s historical expedition across the Purple Earth.

Karen J. Simmons

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