NASA’s Perseverance rover just had a rare misstep. The space agency has revealed that the robotic vehicle failed to collect Mars rock samples during its first attempt. Although the sample tube processing, percussive drill and coring bit worked as intended, a probe revealed that the tube had become empty. This was not what the scientists expected after all other tests were completed.
Scientists still are investigating the incident and might not know for several days. Jennifer Trosper, Perseverance’s project manager said that the team believed the rock may have react in unexpected ways during coring. In other words, the equipment seems to be in good condition.
Martian surfaces have caused problems many times. In 2008, the Phoenix Lander experienced difficulty collecting “sticky” soil. InSight and Curiosity also struggled to crack into rocks or reach the surface.
Perseverance will not be affected by this initial setback. NASA wants to minimize incidents such as this. NASA sent the rover to Mars to gather samples to eventually bring back to Earth. This would allow scientists to look for evidence of life in the past. NASA will not have the opportunity to study Mars’ past if it does not get enough samples.
Engadget recommends only products that have been reviewed by the editorial team. This is independent from our parent company. Affiliate links may be included in some of our stories. We may be compensated if you purchase something using one of the links.
Publited Sat, 07 August 2021 at 16:02:16 +0000