NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover investigates a ‘strange’ rock and hits it with a laser


NASA’s Perseverance rover took a view of this strange rock on March 28. If you look closely to the right of center, you can see a series of small marks where the rover’s laser hit it.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU

Mars is a haven for meteorites, and it is always remarkable when a rover encounters one of these emissaries from space. Scientists are currently examining a rock full of holes detected by NASA’s Perseverance rover. The rock looks like meteorites seen elsewhere.

NASA has not yet declared what the rock is, but the The perseverance team tweeted on Wednesday“While the helicopter is getting ready, I can’t help but look at the nearby rocks. This stranger has my science team exchanging many hypotheses.”

The rover team said the rock is about 6 inches (15 centimeters) long and told space fans to look closely at the image to “spot the row of laser marks where I hit it for more information.”

Perseverance is equipped with a zapping laser designed to help you collect data on the geology of Mars. Can Hear the laser in action like a microphone hears it.. “Variations in the intensity of the zapping sounds will provide information on the physical structure of the targets, such as their relative hardness or the presence of weather coatings,” NASA said when it shared the laser audio in early March.

Researchers are already pitching some ideas on the rock, even that it may be an eroded chunk of bedrock, a small chunk of Mars from elsewhere that was thrown by an impact event, or a meteorite.

Perseverance is already in vogue with meteorites. There is a small portion of a Martian meteorite embedded in a calibration target used by the rover’s Sherloc (Raman and Luminescence Scanning for Organic and Chemical Habitable Environments) instrument. So NASA sent a piece of Mars back to Mars.

The rover made time for rock research while in the Ingenuity helicopter deployment process so it can bring it to the surface before what NASA hopes is the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.

Between rocks and helicopters, it has been an exciting week for the Perseverance mission.

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