NASA’s Perseverance rover has a strange and unexpected travel companion

NASA’s Perseverance rover is on one of the most crucial missions the house company has ever had on the Crimson Earth. Tasked with obtaining evidence of historical life in a component of the world believed to be an historic river delta, the rover has found a variety of intriguing matters. Now, though, it also would seem to have picked up an unforeseen touring companion. Perseverance has a pet rock.

NASA’s Perseverance rover picked up a pet rock

Perseverance pet rock
Perseverance’s pet rock is lodged in the rover’s entrance still left wheel. Graphic resource: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA shared the very good news very last week, noting that Perseverance’s pet rock has caught with the rover for above 100 sols. The space company suggests the rock hitched a trip in the rover’s entrance still left wheel in early February. Due to the fact then, it has traveled more than 5.3 miles with the agency’s most up-to-date rover.

It’s a bit of a silly announcement. But, when you are discovering alien planets like Mars, each very little factor can be intriguing in its have proper. Also, Perseverance choosing up an unlikely touring companion is not so unlikely. The Martian surface is littered with rocks and obstacles. And in the past, other rovers have picked up touring companions. As this kind of, it was only a make any difference of time for Perseverance.

The good news is, Perseverance’s pet rock is not triggering any injury to the rover’s wheel. It has been along for a bumpy journey, nevertheless. The rover has steadily been generating its way up towards an historic river delta.

As soon as there, it intends to look for the delta for indicators of historical everyday living. Since its landing, Perseverance has explored pieces of the Jezero crater. Other rovers have also identified proof of the building blocks of existence on Mars.

NASA hopes that Perseverance can locate even far more evidence.

Potential confusion

A image captured by the Mars Perseverance rover. Graphic resource: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Even though the rock hitching a trip in Perseverance’s wheel isn’t significantly of a threat to the rover, scientists say there could be potential implications.

When Perseverance picked up its pet rock, the rover was continue to checking out the ground of the Jezero crater. Now, around 100 sols afterwards, the rover is effectively on its way to the Jezero delta. Ought to it tumble out anytime shortly, NASA expects it to land with rocks that are created up of incredibly distinct parts than it is.

5.3 miles does not audio that much, suitable? But, for a smaller rock, it is a entire world absent from wherever it was picked up. And that’s where by individuals upcoming implications appear into participate in.

As NASA notes in the announcement, the rock could very perfectly slide in a spot it does not suit in. If that comes about, it could confuse foreseeable future Mars geologists. This is why the space company issued a considerably silly warning after announcing Perseverance’s pet rock.

If you are studying Mars down the line and you are mapping out the Jezero crater, you may possibly locate a compact rock that appears to be effectively out of area. Unfortunately, it is not likely an alien put it there. As an alternative, it likely hitched a experience on Perseverance. If only that rock could speak, it could inform us so much about the rover’s historical expedition throughout the Red Earth.