Martian perseverance has been successfully excavated, but the pattern is nowhere to be found. NASA is baffled by what happened.
The US space agency has invested nine years of work and $2 billion in a program to search for life on Mars. After a successful landing and flight in February, Martian Perseverance could have completed one of the key moments of its science mission last Friday when it sampled soil from the crater of former Mars lake Jezero using special drills attached to its two-meter-long robotic arm. . However, the operation was unsuccessful as no sample was received from the drill bit on board Perseverance’s titanium storage tube.
NASA personnel also looked at the cavity and tube containing the rock sample with a camera, but the rock was mysteriously lost. The experts said that no such phenomenon was found in ground tests, and because they were confident that the automated drilling system was working as intended, the explanation for this phenomenon, they said, was that the stone did not behave as expected.
There is no definitive explanation yet, more details may emerge as Perseverance makes additional drilling to fill the 43 samples from the storage tubes it took with it.
There have also been problems with soil samples in previous missions. In 2008, Phoenix found Martian soil to be “sticky” and uncontrollable. The rocks that Curiosity excavated proved harder than expected. And recently, the InSight probe, which is making seismic measurements, failed to measure the temperature due to the Red Planet’s stubborn surface.
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