The Perseverance rover, which landed on the surface of Mars in the second half of February, has already seriously begun exploring the Red Planet. NASA is currently preparing for the release and the first flight with the experimental Ingenuity drone, but at the same time the rover is conducting its first investigation into Mars.
Perseverance examines the rock with a laser
In recent days, Perseverance has found a very interesting piece of rock on Mars that NASA engineers decided to analyze more deeply. On Wednesday, the bureau posted a photo of the stone on Twitter, showing traces of laser examination of the object. These are many dark spots on the surface next to each other (slightly to the right of the center of the rock).
The “destruction” was made by the research tool SuperCam, which is installed on the boom of the Perseverance rover. It is a set consisting of a laser and a camera used to analyze the chemical and mineral composition of rocks on Mars.
The device cyclically projects a beam of the laser, heats a fragment of the surface (that is, the traces visible to the naked eye), and the sensor analyzes the location. The device can examine objects up to 7 meters away, where the rover can not be near, and its work can also be heard on recordings of the microphone. A recording of about 30 such “laser” hits (made while examining another rock) was published by NASA in early March.
Curiosity takes a selfie again
Recently (understandably), permeability has been particularly loud, but NASA does not let us forget about its former Mars rover, which has been surveying the Red Planet since 2012. This week, the U.S. space agency released a new photo that Curiosity took under a 6-foot-high rock face called the Mont Mercou mission team.
The photo was obtained by combining 60 frames taken by the MAHLI camera on 26 March and 11 frames taken by the Mastcam camera, which were exposed on 16 March. Both devices are installed on the robotic arm of the rover, allowing even a selfie. The resolution of the original image is 318 Mpix and the weight is more than 100 MB (you can see them HERE).
If you zoom in on the photo, we can also see a fresh hole in the rock in front of the rover. This is the last (30th) well executed by Curiosity to collect samples for testing. It is worth paying attention to the badly damaged robber wheels. A while ago, NASA reported that the damage is a major problem for the engineers responsible for the rover mission.
Product: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS
Curiosity has surprised us many times in the past with beautiful selfies, and the latter shows that the rover – despite his age (his mission in theory should have ended many years ago) and rotting wheels – can still provide interesting information from Mars .