Cleanup on Mars: NASA completes cleaning of clogged collection tube on Perseverance rover

This Tuesday (25), NASA announced that the cleaning of the collection tube 261 of the Perseverance rover, which was blocked, was completed. As reported by Digital Look, this happened after the rover achieved its sixth rock collection on Mars at the end of December.

“When you're faced with a challenge, sometimes it's best to take a step back and shake it off,” reads the Perseverance mission's Twitter post. “I turned around on some nearby rocks to lean, and did a twist with one foot. Somewhere along the way I flicked the other two rocks into my sampling system. Back to [mission] #SamplingMars soon.”

According to NASA, the team responsible for the robot worked methodically and thoroughly, immediately reaching good progress in understanding the best way forward to solve the problem.

The implementation of the initial recovery steps soon achieved the first success: the top two stones were ejected from the drill carousel during a test procedure.

A portion of a cored rock sample is ejected from the rotating percussive drill on NASA's Perseverance Mars rover. The images were collected by the rover's Mastcam-Z instrument on January 15, 2022.
A portion of the samples being ejected from the percussive-rotating drill on the rover. The images were collected by the Mastcam-Z instrument
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS.

On Monday, the WATSON camera, the rover's science instrument, imaged the drill carousel and its rocks — and also photographed the ground beneath the rover to establish exactly what was down there before any recovery strategy was launched. applied.

“Later the same day, we rotated the carousel about 75 degrees before returning it to its original position. WATSON images showed that the top two rocks were ejected during the process," NASA said in the statement.

According to the agency's scientists, the next day, they received the second set of images of the ground below the rover, which show two new rocks. This means that the rocks ejected from the merry-go-round were deposited back on the surface of Mars as planned.

Read more:

  • Video shows mosaic of images of Mars taken by Perseverance
  • In yet another milestone, Perseverance finds organic chemicals on Mars
  • Rover Perseverance has a twin brother who helps him study Mars from a distance

Unexpected challenges are part of missions to Mars

Also according to NASA, the other two stones, located at the bottom of the carousel, still remained. "It is interesting to note that some of the initial tests carried out on Earth indicate that the location of the two remaining stones may not pose a significant problem with the operation of the carousel, but we are continuing analysis and testing to confirm this."

"Like all missions to Mars, we had some unexpected challenges," NASA said in a statement last week. “We expect the same result this time around — by taking incremental steps, analyzing results and moving forward, we plan to fully address this challenge and return to exploration and sampling at Jezero Crater.”

However, according to the mission's tweet posted on Monday, it appears that even these last two pebbles have been successfully removed.

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The post Cleanup on Mars: Nasa Completes Cleaning Clogged Collection Tube from Perseverance Rover appeared first on Digital Look.

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