Mars Mission: NASA’s Rover Returned Empty in 1st Attempt

On Friday 6th August 2021 NASA’s mars rover came up empty on Earth. It had to bring the martian rock sample. NASA made Images of the Mars rover and an ingenuity helicopter from the Watson camera on the Rover’s robotic arm. 

The image showed the shadow of the Perseverance Mars rover is cast next to its first hole drilled in a rock. The rover drilled into the rocks of the Jezero Crater but it hadn’t collected any rock into the sample tube. 

Engineers are working to identify the different problems involved with the rover and the camera attached to it. The Project scientist Ken Farley said that there might be a miscalculation occured due to the camera or might be the rock properties which are different then expected before. 

Statements of Thomas Zurbuchen

Thomas Zurbuchen the chief of NASA’s science mission explained that it could be the problem with the positioning of the camera. He further added that the agency next time would be using the camera mounted on the robotic arm as it could view the inside view of the drilled hole. 

Analysis made by JPL on Perseverance failure in the Mars Mission

Jennifer Trosper, project manager for Perseverance at JPL, said that it was most probably the issue of rock targeting that was not according to the way they expected. Also there might be a little chance of hardware issues with the sampling and catching system. 

He further said that the team will analyze more about the reason of what happened through the data available to them. Also provide additional diagnostic data about the reasons found behind the cause of the empty tube. 

Jessica Samuels, the surface mission manager for Perseverance at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California analysed one of the few points about the situation. She argued that the collection tube should be able to measure the mass of the rock sample. 

She further analyzed that the probe failed to encounter expected resistance. That it was must be there if a sample was found inside. 

More About the Perseverance Mars Mission

The Perseverance mission on Mars is the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The Rover will indicate about the planet’s geology, its past climate. Then pave the way for human exploration of the Mars Planet. 

European Space Agency is also cooperating with NASA to send spacecraft to Mars to collect the samples from the surface of  Mars and return them to Earth for research purposes. 

The Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s moon to mars exploration mission. 

According to the overview of the previous Perseverance Mars mission, NASA in 2008 started the Phoenix mission. This is about the collection of sampled soil which was sticky and non movable through various instruments. There had been several tries but achieved the success after all the efforts. 

Similarly the Curiosity have faced a difficult type of rock that is more harder and difficult according to analysis.

Read more: NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission to Icy Jupiter moon

NASA’s Next Step towards Mars Mission

NASA is in collaboration with European Space Agency. Aims to collect about 31 samples in tubes and collect these within a decade. 

NASA also planned to initiate another mission about the sample collection brought to Earth in the early 2030. 

NASA will send Perseverance towards north and then west for its second science campaign to the Jezero Crater’s delta region. The Jazero Crater delta region is rich in minerals, especially the carbonate minerals. 

These minerals are the signs of fossilized ancient microscopic life and would be the signs about the biological processes

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