NASA Persistence rover has spent a busy two weeks settling in his new home on Mars, recently bending his robotic arm for the first time.
Persistence touched on the Red Planet on February 18 to begin work on searching for traces of ancient life and sampling rocks for a future mission to be transferred to Earth laboratories for much more in-depth research. But before Percy embarks on these scientific adventures, the car-sized robot must first warm up, so to speak, test its components and confirm that nothing is damaged during the dangerous landing.
“I’ve been doing a lot of health checks this week, getting ready for work,”
In photos: NASA’s rover mission to Mars for permanence to the Red Planet
This week I did a lot of health checks, I was preparing for work. I checked many tasks on my list, including tests of tools, images, and hand movements. Warming up for a science marathon. pic.twitter.com/A0aqhWVo5T March 3, 2021
For an official update of the first two weeks of Mars Persistence, NASA staff 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 to NASA YouTube channel of the agency.
The robotic arm, which Perseverance has now successfully moved to Mars for the first time, unfolds to a total length of 7 feet (2.1 meters) and has a complex collection of tools.
Chief among them is the training that will do it sampling for a future mission to be transferred to Earth for more in-depth review, as well as the tools that will store these samples. The drill includes three different bits, depending on the rover’s current task, whether it facilitates rover science or collects and stores samples. The hand also carries three key analytical tools that the rover must be able to maneuver near the target rocks.
Testing the movement of the arm was a key stage that the rover had to reach within the first 30 Martian days, or salt, after landing (one salt lasts a little more than one Earth day). Once this commissioning phase has been successfully completed, the Permanence will begin preparing for the test flights of its robotic satellite, a small helicopter called Ingenuitywho will try to make the first flight powered by another planet.
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