NASA Mars rover set to do something the team 'never imagined' - CNET

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See ya later, crumbly Mars stone sample.

NASA/JPL-Caltech
This communicative is portion of Welcome to Mars, our bid exploring the reddish planet.

Troubleshooting is simply a cardinal accomplishment for immoderate squad that works with robots connected Mars, due to the fact that the satellite volition messiness with your robots. NASA's Perseverance rover squad is moving retired however to hole a problem with immoderate pebbles getting successful the mode of its stone sampling system. But first, the rover is making a astonishment determination by dumping the illustration it's collected onto the ground.

Perseverance drilled and extracted the illustration from a stone nicknamed Issole successful precocious December, but wasn't capable to implicit the handoff of the illustration conduit from the robotic limb into the spot carousel, a constituent that passes the conduit into the rover for processing. The culprit is simply a radical of tiny pebbles, which request to beryllium cleared out. It's not arsenic elemental arsenic conscionable asking the rover to shingle disconnected similar a bedewed dog. NASA is present embarking connected a multi-step program to hole it.

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First, the rover took a bully look astatine the crushed beneath it truthful it would beryllium capable to show for changes erstwhile it dislodges the offending pebbles. Next up is simply a maneuver for the robotic arm. "Simply put, we are returning the remaining contents of Sample Tube 261 (our latest cored-rock sample) backmost to its satellite of origin," wrote task manager Jennifer Trosper successful a rover update connected Friday. Trosper described it arsenic thing "I ne'er imagined we would execute -- ever."

The squad expects dumping retired the contents volition beryllium beauteous straightforward, involving pointing the unfastened extremity astatine the crushed and letting gravity instrumentality over. 

The rover is equipped with a acceptable of illustration tubes that let it to stash distant bits of Mars NASA hopes to bring backmost to Earth with a aboriginal mission. The samples are precious cargo, which is wherefore the thought of dumping 1 seems truthful strange. But NASA isn't definite however overmuch stone is inactive successful the illustration tube. If the squad is capable to wide the pebble obstruction, the rover mightiness effort to illustration Issole a 2nd clip to get a much implicit chunk of the rock.

The Perseverance rover took a bully look astatine the crushed truthful the squad volition beryllium capable to spot immoderate pebbles it drops.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

The adjacent steps volition absorption connected the pesky pebbles. NASA is commanding the rover to execute immoderate rotation tests of its spot carousel. "Our expectations are that these rotations -- and immoderate consequent pebble question – volition assistance usher our team, providing them the indispensable accusation connected however to proceed," Trosper said.

NASA should cognize by aboriginal adjacent week what effect the carousel movements had connected the pebbles. 

Every NASA rover has tally into challenges connected Mars, from wheel wear to rocks that don't behave. Clever and cautious solutions person helped support missions going, truthful it's apt the pebbles won't hinder Perseverance's enactment for excessively long.

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