You know that uncomfortable feeling you get when you walk in when you buy a new sneaker and when you look up, you find that a pebble is stuck in the soles? because check Perseverance, gives NASAwho is on a mission Mars planetYou too have a similar problem.
Experts from the US space agency have been working since late December to find a way to remove some of the debris trapped in a robot identified during the extraction of a sample on the Red Planet.
According to NASA, during the transfer of the bit that contains the sample to the rover’s bit carousel (which does the processing and sends the data to the agency), the sensor indicated an anomaly.
The problem occurred during so-called “coring bit dropoff”, which occurs when the drill, with its tube of the freshly collected sample, is directed into the percussive drill (at the end of the robotic arm) and the drill carousel. (located on the robot chassis). At this time, the sensor registered a higher resistance than expected during operation.
fragment removal strategy
Since last week, NASA has been studying images in detail of the ground where Persistence passes to, initially, understand what type of rock per wave the spacecraft will transit and to join a few more pieces in a future carousel of bits. will examine the possibility of
Now, NASA has decided to use Persist’s robotic arm to simply turn the carousel of bits so that the compartment drops the pebbles. And how would the space agency know the move worked? Simple: Just look at the ground again and see if there are extra pieces in place.
Project manager Jennifer Trosper wrote, “The Perseverance team is exploring all aspects of the problem to ensure that we not only get rid of this rocky debris, but also prevent a similar recurrence during future sampling. Mandatory.” Obviously, we are leaving no stone unturned.” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the agency’s official blog.
If the process is successful, Perseverance will resume exploration on the rock that caused the problem. “If our plans work with our pebble mitigation, we may try to reconstruct the core of the ‘isol’ (the rock from which this sample was taken),” Trosper said.
Despite the problem, the Persistence rover has been able to continue working on the planet’s surface. However, since the machine is still relatively new on Mars, the agency wants to treat the components as best as possible to avoid future problems.
This was not the first anomaly discovered by NASA during the mission. The first attempt at collecting soil samples came up empty, leading the US space agency to test alternative methods to begin collecting rocks.
According to NASA, the robot is equipped with 43 sample tubes, of which seven have been archived so far. It is believed that by the end of 2020, these tubes will be sent back to Earth through an ambitious mission called Mars Sample Return.