May 26, 2022


Discover your best

Perseverance Has Run Into a Problem on Mars: Pebbles

A small pile of pebbles is clogging up the Perseverance Mars rover’s operations.  

The rover, which is gathering rock samples for eventual return to Earth, commenced to wrestle on Dec. 29, after extracting a core from a rock the mission staff nicknamed “Issole.”


According to a NASA website, the challenge transpired in the product that transfers the drill little bit and sample out of the rover’s drill arm and into a carousel inside the rover’s chassis for storage.

Through the transfer, sensors in the rover recorded a better-than-normal quantity of friction at an surprising level in the procedure. 

The rover shut down and sent an inform again to Earth. Operators asked for much more info from the rover, but Perseverance took about a week to respond due to the mismatch in between Martian times and Earth times, which restricts how promptly information can transfer.

At the time the data arrived, the crew requested the rover to act as its very own mechanic by taking away the drill bit and undocking its drilling arm in get to photograph its have innards.

The resulting pictures revealed the problem: a compact pile of pebbles inside of the carousel. These bits of debris fell off the sample for the duration of the transfer system, blocking the drill bit from sitting down adequately inside of the little bit carousel.


The carousel is made to work even in the existence of some particles, but NASA operators are having their time to do the job out a alternative.

“This is not the 1st curve Mars has thrown at us – just the most current,” Louise Jandura, chief engineer for sampling & caching at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wrote in the site write-up.


“Just one thing we’ve found is that when the engineering challenge is hundreds of thousands and thousands of miles away (Mars is currently 215 million miles from Earth [346 million kilometers]), it pays to take your time and be extensive. We are going to do that below,” she included.

The Perseverance rover landed on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. It is discovering Jezero Crater, which was when a river delta.

The aim is to acquire rock and soil samples to evaluate the crater for signals that it at the time hosted lifestyle. The rover has products that can do some analysis on board, but the hope is that a foreseeable future Mars mission will be equipped to retrieve and return the rover’s rock samples to Earth. 

This is not the initial time the Perseverance crew has experienced to triumph over a sampling hiccup. The rover’s very initially endeavor to accumulate a rock sample failed. But the rover quickly succeeded in collecting a pair of rock samples in fast succession.

Similar written content:

Mars on the low-priced: Experts doing the job to revolutionize obtain to the Pink Planet

Voyager to Mars rover: NASA’s 10 best improvements

Viewing factors on Mars: A historical past of Martian illusions 

This posting was at first posted by Are living Science. Read the initial posting in this article.