Earlier this year, when the Curiosity rover of NASA prevailed over a motor hitch to once more pierce into rocks on the Red Planet, it was a victory of engineering and ingenuity. Drilling operations strike a small obstacle this week when the probe met a specifically unmoved rock.
The drill was touched down by Curiosity on its target dubbed “Voyageurs,” a fascinating rock within the Gale Crater. The tool functioned as anticipated, however, it just could not dig deep enough to produce an adequate amount of matter for the rover to gather a specimen for examination.
In a mission update, Mark Salvatore, Curiosity team member, said, “All proof proposes that this rock target is among the toughest yet witnessed in Gale crater.” The rock’s geology surfaces several questions regarding the existing location of Curiosity on the Vera Rubin Ridge. He speculates if the hardness of the rock could be owing to variations in water chemistry as these specific sedimentary rocks were set down.
Back in May, Curiosity fruitfully pierced into a rock dubbed “Duluth.” That time, there were no obstacles. The drill produced sufficient matter for sampling. The probe has got going since Duluth and might now be traveling around a region full of tougher rocks. Further investigation will be needed by the science team to observe if Voyageurs is an exemplar of the existing landscape or an outlier.
Salvatore explains the drilling obstruction as “disheartening,” but states he is fortunate to work with engineers and scientists “who can mutually turn an exasperating sigh into a breath of enthusiasm as we imagine regarding our next examinations and what more we have to study about this fascinating and alien environment.”
The upcoming Mars rover of Europe sports a potent toaster-oven-size lab that would look for indications of life on Mars. The ExoMars rover is scheduled to lift-off in July 2020 to Mars, with the main tool aboard called the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer