From NASA Rover perseverance He has spent a busy two weeks settling into his new home on Mars, most recently flexing his robotic arm for the first time.
Perseverance made landfall on the Red Planet on February 18 to begin work searching for traces of ancient life and selecting rock samples for a future mission and taking them to Earth’s laboratories for a much more comprehensive examination. But before “Percy” goes on those science adventures, the car-sized robot must first warm up, so to speak, test its components and confirm that nothing was damaged during the dangerous landing.
“This week I have been doing a lot of health checks, getting ready to go to work,” NASA officials wrote in a rover Twitter account update Posted on March 3. “I’ve checked many tasks off my list, including testing instruments, imaging, and getting my arm moving. Warming up for a science marathon.”
In pictures: NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover mission to the Red Planet
This week I have been doing a lot of medical checkups, getting ready to go to work. I have ticked off many tasks on my list, including testing instruments, imaging, and moving my arm. Warming up for a science marathon. pic.twitter.com/A0aqhWVo5TMarch 3, 2021
For a formal update on Perseverance’s first two weeks on Mars, NASA officials will hold a press conference on Friday (March 5) at 3:30 p.m. EST (2030 GMT), which you can watch. here on Space.com courtesy of NASA or directly at the agency’s YouTube channel.
The robotic arm that Perseverance has first successfully moved on Mars unfolds to a total length of 7 feet (2.1 meters) and contains an elaborate collection of instruments.
The first of these is the exercise that collect samples for a future mission to bring to Earth for a more comprehensive examination, as well as the tools that will store those samples. The drill includes three different bits, depending on the rover’s current task, either to facilitate rover science or to collect and store samples. The arm also carries three key analytical instruments that the rover needs to be able to maneuver close to target rocks.
Testing the arm movement was a key milestone the rover needed to reach within the first 30 Martian days, or suns, after landing (a sun lasts a little more than one Earth day). Once this commissioning phase is successfully concluded, Perseverance will begin to prepare for the test flights of its robotic companion, a small helicopter nicknamed Ingenuity, which will attempt the first powered flight on another planet.
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