The laser of Perseverance has not penetrated the mystery of a strange Martian rock near the Mars rover.
NASA’s rover is waiting for its companion Ingenuity helicopter to make its first powered flight on another planet. At the same time, according to the Twitter feed of the Mars rover, its instrument is aimed at the green rocks on the surface of the red planet. The scientific team is “looking for many hypotheses”, but please do not choose aliens as one of them.
The account said in a tweet published on Wednesday (March 31): “Is this free from the local bedrock?”
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The tweet added: “It is about 6 inches (15 cm) long.” “If you look closely, you may find a row of laser markings. I will polish it to learn more.”
The laser is part of the SuperCam instrument over the wall. Scientists hope that over time, the laser will provide us with more information about the composition of this strange stone, which can tell scientists whether it was formed in situ or was transported there through some process. If it does not form at its current location, it may be the water that brought it to the crater of Jezero, or it may be a meteorite, as the Curiosity rover discovered in 2014.
Perseverance is the core of NASA’s $2.7 billion “Mars 2020” mission. This car-sized rover began work on the “Red Planet” on February 18th, exploring Jezero Crater, looking for signs of ancient life. The crater once had a deep lake and a delta, which provided many interesting environments for persistent exploration. Then, the rover will cache the most promising samples for the sample return mission after ten years.
Perseverance has seven scientific instruments. The SuperCam is located at the top of the “Perseverance” mast and can send laser shots to rocks 23 feet (7 meters) away from the rover. Each laser beam will form a cloud of gasified rock, the composition of which can be analyzed by SuperCam’s camera and spectrometer.
SuperCam’s first activity on Mars was on March 2, when it fired at a target named Máaz, which is short for Navajo on Mars. After the Perseverance team established a national monument on Navajo land in northeastern Arizona, it informally referred to it as the Jeroze Canyon area.
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