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Unusually Soft Rock Interferes with Mars Rover’s Mission to Search for Signs of Life on Mars

NASA is blaming unusually comfortable rock for final week’s sampling fiasco on Mars.

The Perseverance rover got here up empty after making an attempt to gather its first core pattern on the pink planet for eventual return to Earth.

Information beamed again final Friday confirmed that the rover drilled to the right depth of practically 3 inches, and footage of the borehole appeared good.

Nevertheless it shortly grew to become clear the pattern tube was empty.

Since then, engineers have decided the rock was not sturdy sufficient to supply a core pattern, and the small, powdery fragments remained within the gap or ended up within the cuttings pile — or each.

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So the rover is shifting on to the subsequent sampling website in its quest for indicators of historic Martian life; it ought to arrive there by early subsequent month.

Imaging by the rover and its companion helicopter, Ingenuity, reveals the sedimentary rock ought to be a lot better for sampling there, Louise Jandura, chief engineer for Perseverance’s sampling marketing campaign, mentioned Wednesday.

“The {hardware} carried out as commanded however the rock didn’t cooperate this time,” Jandura wrote in a web-based replace.

“It jogs my memory but once more of the character of exploration,” she mentioned.

Will scientists uncover proof of life on Mars?

“A particular result’s by no means assured irrespective of how a lot you put together.”

NASA is seeking to accumulate about 35 samples that might be returned through future spacecraft in a decade.

It isn’t the primary time {that a} Mars lander has run into floor resistance.

A German digger on NASA’s InSight lander did not burrow greater than a few ft, far wanting its goal.

The clumping soil didn’t present sufficient friction for the heat-measuring system, and experimenters gave up in January.

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The little helicopter, Ingenuity, in the meantime, remains to be wowing its staff.

It has accomplished 11 check flights, the most recent one lasting greater than two minutes, and even carried out aerial surveys of Jezero Crater.

That’s the historic river delta the place Perseverance and its hitchhiking chopper landed in February, following an almost seven-month flight from Earth. Scientists consider the realm would have been prime for microscopic life billions of years in the past if it existed.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Related Press story and should have altered it previous to publication to make sure that it meets our editorial requirements.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ap-unusually-soft-rock-interferes-mars-rovers-mission-search-signs-life-mars/ | Unusually Tender Rock Interferes with Mars Rover’s Mission to Seek for Indicators of Life on Mars

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