NASA's newest rover was unable to collect samples of Martian soil the first time. Experts will have to determine the cause.
The failure of the Perseverance rover in collecting Martian samples was reported this week. "Data sent to Earth by the Perseverance rover after its first attempt to collect and seal the container with samples showed that no material was obtained during the operation," NASA said.
It is too early to draw final conclusions, but the agency admits that the difficulties are associated with an unforeseen rock shift during drilling. A technical failure is also possible, but this option is considered less likely. The diagnostics, which will be carried out in the coming days, will answer the questions of interest to NASA.
#SamplingMars is one of my most complicated tasks. Early pics and data show a successful drill hole, but no sample in the tube – something we’ve never seen in testing on Earth. Mars keeps surprising us. We're working through this new challenge. More to come. https://t.co/XyXBssvKe6 pic.twitter.com/VTNvMA2jqN
- NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) August 6, 2021
Perseverance is the largest and most technically sophisticated rover ever built by man. The mass of the device is 1025 kilograms. The rover was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The launch took place on July 30, 2020.
The main task of the rover is to study the Jezero crater. The data obtained during the operation of the rover will help, among other things, assess the viability of the Red Planet.
Perseverance was supplied with seven scientific instruments. One of the main features is the presence of a helicopter-type Ingenuity unmanned aerial vehicle. It can be used for reconnaissance and paving the way, but the main task of the Ingenuity mission was the very demonstration of the possibility of flying on Mars.
The device made its tenth anniversary flight in July. By that time, he had overcome over 1800 meters, and also climbed to a height of more than ten meters. In addition, the helicopter has demonstrated the ability to accelerate to 18 kilometers per hour. The experience gained during the operation of Ingenuity can be applied to future missions.
The only real competitor for the United States in the exploration of Mars is the de facto Chinese. In May, the Celestial Empire crossed an important milestone, landing a rover on the Red Planet for the first time in its history. Soon the new rover left the platform on which it was installed and began to study Mars. And even earlier, he sent the first photographs in which, in particular, one can distinguish the solar panels and the antenna of the apparatus.
Structurally, "Chzhuzhun" is a six-wheeled rover with a height of 1.85 meters. The device weighs 240 kilograms. He will study soil, ionosphere and climate. Among the main tasks of the mission is to identify possible signs of life.