Perseverance and the science of obtaining results | Tech News

Perseverance and the science of obtaining results

The NASA Science Team is making a special effort to acquire a sample of a conglomerate rock unit located on Mars.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Jun 24 2023, 20:45 IST
The Mars Perseverance rover triumphantly obtained a sample of the conglomerate at Otis Peak.
The Mars Perseverance rover triumphantly obtained a sample of the conglomerate at Otis Peak. (NASA)
The Mars Perseverance rover triumphantly obtained a sample of the conglomerate at Otis Peak.
The Mars Perseverance rover triumphantly obtained a sample of the conglomerate at Otis Peak. (NASA)

The NASA Science Team is making a special effort to acquire a sample of a conglomerate rock unit located on top of the fan in Jezero crater on Mars. Unfortunately, the initial attempt resulted in a sample that was too small, and the second attempt proved unsuccessful, as reported by NASA But why is this rock so important?

Eleanor Moreland, a Ph.D student at Rice University says, "Conglomerate rocks are of great interest to the Science Team due to their composition, which consists of numerous clasts of different rocks. Over time, these individual clasts become bound together, forming the conglomerate. Significantly, these clasts likely originated from distant locations and were transported to Jezero crater. Analyzing the unique clasts and cements preserved within a sample of the conglomerate would provide insights into the materials' sources, the distances they traveled, and the Martian environment during their initial formation and the conglomerate's subsequent development."

The fascinating properties of the conglomerate, however, also present challenges when it comes to sampling. its crumbly nature became apparent. As a result, the rock would disintegrate when the rover attempted to extract a sample.

Finally, on the third attempt, success was achieved! The rover triumphantly obtained a sample of the conglomerate at Otis Peak. Examining the image of the sample captured by the CacheCam reveals distinct colors, indicative of different clasts present in the sample. Each clast contains elements and minerals that hold valuable information about the history of water and rocks in Jezero crater. With yet another successful sample secured, Perseverance and the Science Team are now setting their sights on a journey to Snowdrift Peak.

Eleanor further explains, "This remarkable achievement exemplifies the spirit of Perseverance that drives the exploration of Mars, pushing the boundaries of our knowledge and bringing us closer to unraveling the mysteries of this fascinating planet."

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First Published Date: 24 Jun, 20:44 IST
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