The Mars Perseverance rover’s sample collection has run right into a snag. NASA reports the rover stopped caching samples after particles partly blocked the bit carousel (the system that shops drill bits and passes pattern tubes for inside processing). The rover encountered the anomaly on December twenty ninth, however the mission group needed to wait till January sixth to ship a command to extract the drill bit, undock the robotic arm from the carousel and take pictures to confirm what occurred.
The obstacles are believed to be pebbles that fell out of the pattern tube when dropping off the coring bit, stopping that bit from sitting neatly within the carousel. The storage is essential for NASA’s plans to finally return the samples to Earth.
This is not the top to pattern gathering. NASA/JPL’s chief sampling engineer, Louise Jandura, famous the carousel was designed to run with particles. It is the primary time the group has needed to clear particles, nonetheless, and Jandura stated operators would take as a lot time as they wanted to do away with the pebbles in a “managed and orderly trend.”
This is not the primary time Perseverance has run into bother. The rover failed to collect samples throughout its first try, whereas the Ingenuity helicopter suffered a processing error throughout its sixth flight. All the identical, this illustrates the challenges of the mission — even a seemingly pedestrian process as storing a pattern can go awry within the mistaken situations. And when Mars is so distant, fixes aren’t essentially simple or sure.
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