The Surprising Discovery In Mars

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The Surprising Martian Find Paul declared, “We must walk without rhythm,” and he evoked both an actual and a prescient memory of men strolling on the sand. He said, “Watch how I do it.” “Fremen tread the beach in this manner.”

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The Arrakis wastes were a hazardous area in Frank Herbert’s 1965 epic science fiction book Dune. It was scorching hot during the day, covered virtually the whole globe, and contained dreadful, enormous worms that were ready to suffocate you at any time. You could only hope to traverse it securely by moving erratically, and you could only hope to survive if you understood it. (The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

As the Perseverance Rover prepared to begin the next stage of its mission, this would prove to be quite pertinent. Because there are numerous parallels between Mars and Arrakis despite certain differences. Rock and sand can also be found on Mars.

Its surface may even conceal evidence of extraterrestrial life, however, this life is likely fossilised rather than living. Like Paul Atreides, Perseverance would also have to move precisely to avoid having the desert sands intrude on its objective in a way that would be disastrous on a scale never previously seen. Join me as we study Perseverance’s path from September 2021 to January 2022. And now, we’ll examine Perseverance’s journey through Sétah, a region known for its extreme peril. a location with the meaning “Among the Sands.”

(The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

NASA and perseverance were celebrating the first successful rock sample collection on Mars. The rover had been sent to Mars specifically to look for samples of extraterrestrial life that could have been trapped in the planet’s surface rocks.

However, this endeavour had not proven to be simple, and it had taken Perseverance the better part of a year to successfully gather that first important sample. This was partially due to the fact that it had assisted in testing Ingenuity, the partner drone that was smaller. It was the planet Mars’ first helicopter, a drone that would later be crucial to its purpose. Additionally, the initial core it attempted to gather had broken to dust before it could be caught, in part due to the difficulties with Martian geology.

(The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

Perseverance was fortunate to be able to fill the first of its 30 separate sample tubes because the second core was far more productive. A third and fourth core, both extracted in early September from the rock known as “Rochette,” came quickly after. Sadly, it had to stop at that time for solar conjunction.

The configuration of our solar system prevents Mars and Earth from constantly being in line of sight with one another. They can occasionally be on different sides of the solar system. This causes a longer lag in the transmission and reception of messages from Perseverance to NASA, although it is not the greatest issue.

Because of the Sun, communication between the planets is absolutely impossible when Mars and Earth are in exact opposition to one another. This cosmic behemoth is impenetrable to radio signals. Scientists were therefore limited to waiting for these orbiting entities to separate. Although Perseverance is equipped with cutting-edge AI, it still has to periodically check in with NASA to plot its course, update its mission, and report back its results.

(The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

So the genuine return to normal couldn’t happen until early November 2021.

However, throughout this solar conjunction, NASA was not inactive. The next mission of Perseverance had been been carefully planned by the NASA experts by the time it was turned back on. Sétah is a dune area located in Jezero crater. These dunes have a number of outcroppings that were of special relevance to Perseverance’s mission since they provided access to a variety of exposed rock strata.

These many strata most likely corresponded to several geological eras, providing scientists with the clearest picture of Jezero’s past and a chance to discover actual life.

(The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

The Perseverance can only drill a few centimetres deep because to its drilling apparatus, therefore outcroppings are of special importance. Perseverance would not have access to these strata if it weren’t for outcroppings where erosion had exposed them to the Martian environment.

Sand dunes, however, pose a special threat to a rover like Perseverance. If Perseverance were to begin spinning its wheels in a piece of extremely loose sand with assistance a full solar system away, it would probably mean the end of its mission, just like it did for the Spirit rover in 2009.

So Ingenuity, Perseverance’s loyal sidekick, was dispatched to do some initial reconnaissance.

(The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

Perseverance could get its sample tubes to the crucial outcroppings of Sétah if it could locate a path across the sand dunes that appeared secure. Before the solar conjunction, Ingenuity started its scouting and flew multiple times from September through December. These reconnaissance flights, which flied at a height of 10 metres, allowed researchers to choose the ideal path. Early in November 2021, Perseverance departed for its dune investigation.

It cautiously chose its path, taking care to avoid moving too quickly in case it encountered an unanticipated sand trap. It travelled across one-meter-high dunes, seeking the flattest route. But happily, inventiveness had brought it about. Reaching Brac, the projecting rock, required perseverance. As soon as Perseverance perfected its approach, it was able to swiftly acquire fresh samples.

These following two samples were formally Perseverance’s 5th and 6th sample tubes, and its 3rd and 4th rock samples after deciding to refer to the first empty sample container at Brac as a “atmosphere sample.” Scientists were able to make an unexpected finding from these accumulating samples. As was initially thought, these were not sedimentary rocks.

Instead, Perseverance had found Olivine, an igneous rock. On Earth, olivine is a kind of rock that is, for example, present in several regions of Australia. An igneous rock like olivine is created by the cooling of magma, as opposed to sedimentary rocks, which are created by the gradual accumulation of sand and other debris over time.

(The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

As a result, it appears that Jezero crater may have seen significant volcanic activity at some point. While this would at first appear to be terrible news—you might correctly assume that there isn’t much life in magma—scientists were able to spot evidence of water erosion on the rocks. Water motion may be seen in the crater’s ridges at the ends. The water that formed Jezero’s delta must have arrived after whatever volcanic activity that had taken place here had long cooled.

As a result, the discovery of igneous rock proved advantageous. Because igneous rock often has a high concentration of minerals, the regions near volcanoes are extremely fruitful. Water and rocks with a high mineral content would have made the ideal environment for life. Overall, Perseverance’s objective appeared to be succeeding. Mars, though, was not through with it.

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The prey in the desert does not give up so quickly. On Wednesday, December 29, Perseverance stopped on the way back out of Seitah to collect yet another sample from a different rock outcropping known as Issole, especially from a little stone called as Roubion. At first, everything appeared to go smoothly. Perseverance successfully cored the intended rock. It put its centre into a test tube.

However, it encountered unanticipated resistance when attempting to insert the test tube into the bit carousel on the rover’s chassis. The tube couldn’t enter the carousel because of anything impeding it. When Perseverance discovered the abnormality, it promptly halted its operations and contacted NASA to inquire what it should do next. NASA was able to look inside the carousel using Perseverance’s cameras during week-long exchanges. Four little stones could be seen looking back at them.

Even while it might not seem important, stones that prevented samples from being stored within the rover would end Perseverance’s whole mission to collect samples. These rocks were probably removed from the tube during the sample collection, potentially once more as a result of the unexpected crumbliness of Martian rocks. Perseverance has already lost one sample to rocks crumbling.

(The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

They might now spell the end of the entire expedition. Imagine a person standing next to the rover, who could effortlessly flick the rocks away. That is an absurd thought. Something so straightforward for us would be quite hard for a robot not equipped for it. However, the Perseverance group was prepared for such a scenario.

The rover cautiously started to put it into action. Perseverance began by taking pictures of the ground underneath it. When all the stones were thrown out onto the ground, it needed to check what was already there so that researchers could tally the fresh arrivals and make sure they matched up with what had previously been observed within the carousel.

Second, it did something that it was never intended to do: it dumped the contents of its core sample tube into the ground. This must have been accomplished with remorse.

To determine how much was probably in the carousel, it was crucial to know how much was still in the tube. Additionally, this would maximise the use of sample space by enabling the subsequent collection of a new Isole sample.

(The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

Thirdly, perseverance started doing the only thing left that it could. It began to jiggle. It was able to remove two of the four problematic stones right there and then by rotating its carousel. Scientists were able to find both stones, which were no longer on board, by inspecting the floor again afterwards.

Two pebbles were still there, though, and they were proving to be stubborn by refusing to fall out with the carousel’s turn. Perseverance increased the tempo as a result. It started to drive off in search of a place where the slope was steeper.

In order for the final two stones to begin to gravitationally move away from each other, Perseverance needed to be positioned at an angle and tilted forward. Although it would have been disastrous if it had tipped over, its robust foundation allowed for this to be done with some degree of safety.

Therefore, researchers would take care to avoid choosing a location that was too incline. The distance to a good spot was only 5 metres. Perseverance drove there and only discovered something unexpected when she got there.

(The Surprising Discovery In Mars)

The other two rocks were no longer there. The NASA crew concluded that the rocks had shifted and subsequently fallen out as a result of Perseverance’s rumbling through the Seitah sands. Only after thoroughly verifying that their apparatus was in working order and that the tubes could be docked correctly again did they make the success declaration. Persistence was prepared to start anew!

The way I told the narrative may have given the impression that this was a brief drama. These stowaways were originally taken aboard Perseverance on December 29. The pebbles weren’t totally verified to be gone until January 27, 2022, which is a whole month later.

This is due to the fact that “care” is constantly the watchword of the day when you’ve spent millions of dollars shipping a piece of gear to another planet. Even while it might often take weeks to plan out a solution to a problem, it’s typically worthwhile for the mission’s durability. Best wishes and appreciation for reading.

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