Perseverance has its first problems on Mars

She’s the star of NASA, but perseverance now has several “throat aches” that keep her from working.

He was a NASA star Since it arrived in our red neighbor last February. But in the past few days, the rover appears to have a sore throat. In fact, the rover collected a sixth rock sample in recent days, while these small pieces of the red planet must be sealed in test tubes, as in the image below, so that tests can be carried out on Earth.

© NASA

A second mission should already come to Mars within several years to retrieve the test tubes and return them to Earth in the early 2030s. Such a comprehensive study of Mars’ soil should allow NASA scientists to unlock our neighbor’s latest secrets, including answering the crucial question: Did Mars host life in the past?

Evidence of life on Mars at your fingertips

Some optimists, like Jean Francois Clairvoy Tell us when the rover landed, we think life could still exist on Mars, underground. If this theory does not have a consensus today, it is widely accepted that the Red Planet has certainly provided protection for life over the past few million years.

NASA hopes that persistence will provide evidence of past life on Mars, even if it was certainly only microbes. To prove this theory, it is then necessary to collect pieces of rock inside the Jezero crater. A mission that the rover has undertaken with great success so far.

Pebble gear

But then, during the last combination attempt, several small pebbles came to grab the gear. When engineers on the ground received warning signals indicating unexpected resistance, they asked the Perseverance to take pictures of the assembly area (photo below).

perseverance caillou-nasa
© NASA

Now that the debris has been proven to exist, NASA will take its time to clear it up. It is already the first time that the US space agency has had to implement such a measure. As our science colleagues remind us, this isn’t the first time that NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the agency’s laboratory responsible for this mission, have had problems with persistence.

NASA’s first set was a failureNo stone entered the test tube. JPL appears to have learned from its mistakes and that the four attempts that followed were huge successes.

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