Space & Astronomy
NASA's Perseverance rover has finally lost its pet rock
By T.K. Randall
April 23, 2023 · 2 comments
Farewell, rock. Image Credit: NASA
The rover had been carrying the inadvertent passenger across the surface of Mars for over a year.
While it's certainly true that there aren't a great many prospective passengers on the surface of Mars, NASA's Perseverance rover managed to find one anyway in the form of a rock that had somehow ended up lodged inside the interior rim of one of its wheels last year.
One of the problems of operating a rover on Mars is that - without the ability to actually access or service it directly - there's no way to remove even something as simple as a rock from the machinery.
As a result, Perseverance simply had to put up with it being there.
Now, however, more than a year later and after traveling more than 10km across Mars inside the rover's wheel, the rock has finally decided to leave its new home.
"It spent 427 Sols with us (more than an Earth year!), and traveled about 10 km since Sol 341," said Dr. Gwenael Caravaca who works with the rover's SuperCam instrument.
"Farewell Rock Friend, you will be missed!"
At least there are plenty more where that one came from if Perseverance ever gets lonely...
Source: Science Alert
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