Second Quest a Beauty: NASA’s Endurance trains a Mars Rock

As in Endurance The driver drilled a rock on Wednesday to collect a sample from Mars ’Jezero Crater, Justin Simon, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, felt both nervous and excited. He had the honor of serving as a “sample shepherd,” leading the effort from millions of miles away, but the pressure continued. “These samples will not only allow us to understand the geology of the crater, but the minerals that may have something to do with the history of the water there,” he said yesterday.

But first, the rover must take a piece of rock to an internal size of the test pipe. An initial test in early August come empty. That first stone, called “Roubion,” simply crumbled to dust as the drill drilled into it, and none of the pieces were placed inside.

Simon could breathe again. The second Continuity test, with a different rock, appears to have successfully obtained a Martian core that is somewhat thicker than a pencil.

“We got that image of just a weird looking core, a good looking cylinder, strongly broken. It would look even more interesting geologically, something that the scientists of the future will be happy to work, ”said Ken Farley, a Caltech geochemist and project scientist on the Perseverance mission, led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

But the analysis of the new sample will take a long time, as NASA scientists are unable to take clear images due to short lighting conditions, which make it difficult to interpret the images. To add more drama for scientists, if Perseverance performs a “percuss-to-ingest” method of shaking the sample to ensure the tube is not filled, that will create system innovation if it saved-an image appears showing an empty sample tube (They’re sure they got the sample, but they’ll try to capture more images in better lighting the next day couple. )

The first Perseverance drilling attempt, which caused the sample to be crushed, was not a complete failure, as it provided evidence suggesting that the rock was shaken, caused by a river flowing into the hole. on the lake billions of years ago. “It’s always possible that this lake was a transient event, like a comet, filled with water, hit Mars and formed lakes, and then it boiled or froze for ten years. But that doesn’t bear fruit. as we see the harvest of the season, ”Farley said in an interview last week.

Because that rock was too powdery, the scientists then took the pilot to a new location, looking for different types of rock to pick up, using The intellect copter to scout ahead. Persistence runs a bit to the west, where on a ridgeline the researchers found a much larger rock they called “Rochette,” and that seemed less likely to break when the rover set up its gear. “It’s like a rock that, if you can throw, falls to the ground. A good, healthy rock, ”Farley said.

Prior to the sampling test, Perseverance performed an analysis by snapping individual photographs of a candidate stone. Last week, it also performed an abrasion test to determine if Rochette is sufficiently obtainable in the sample. The rover is equipped with a rotary percussive drill (with extra drill bits) that both rotates and hammers the rock. This tool helps to clear dust and chips by blocking the weather coating. The abrasion was surprisingly successful, according to Farley, so the scientists decided to continue taking a sample. Persistence extended the 7-foot-long robotic arm, fired the drill, and carefully took a main sample. After this the “hand” of the arm is rotated so that the sample tube can be examined.

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