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Space & Astronomy

NASA's Perseverance rover has finally lost its pet rock

By T.K. Randall
April 23, 2023 · Comment icon 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 | Comments (2)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 years ago
I don't have to fly into the space to have my pet rock.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by Still Waters 1 year ago
NASA's Perseverance Rover Has Lost Its Martian 'Pet' After More Than a Year It's the end of an era, at least for the Perseverance rover on Mars, who has lost a long-time friend. For 427 sols or days on Mars, Perseverance has been carrying around a rock in one of its wheels. We've been following the saga of this pet rock, which for over a year has stuck with Perseverance over the hills and sands of the Martian landscape. However, according to Dr. Gwénaël Caravaca, who works with the rover's SuperCam instrument, the team found out overnight in the latest Hazcam image that the rock has be... [More]

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