The rover, which landed in Jezero Crater in February, had been functioning largely as a communications base between the autonomous Ingenuity Mars helicopter and the company’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) over the past couple of weeks, serving to to doc the rotorcraft’s historic flights.
Nevertheless, NASA scientists have continued to work in an effort to raised perceive the purple planet’s environmental historical past, aiming to create a timeline surrounding when the crater’s lake shaped and dried billions of years in the past.
So as to take action, the arm’s WATSON (Broad Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering) digital camera has captured detailed pictures of Martian rocks and the Mastcam-Z cameras have reportedly additionally studied the rocky terrain.
Whereas igneous rocks are reportedly “extra exact geological clocks” that can assist to create an correct timeline, sedimentary rocks are higher at preserving biosignatures.
Although harsh winds, sand and dirt have sophisticated the method, NASA stated the rover’s arm may also help to raised perceive rocks’ histories by utilizing an abrader to put on away a rock’s floor and reveal its inner composition.
Subsequent, the workforce can collect extra chemical and mineralogical information utilizing devices on the arm just like the SHERLOC (Scanning Liveable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemical substances) spectrometer’s ultraviolet laser and PIXL’s (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) fluorescence spectrometer and high-resolution imager.
“Whenever you look inside a rock, that’s the place you see the story,” Perseverance’s Mission Scientist Ken Farley stated an announcement.
Because the scientists study extra rocks and sediment, Perseverance will acquire and cache samples for additional examine.