Perseverance rover accidentally adopts hitchhiking ‘pet rock’

An image of Perseverance’s “pet rock” stuck in the rover’s front left wheel, taken on May 26 with the rover’s front left hazcam. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Roaming Mars is a lonely existence for NASA’s Perseverance, but the explorer rover now has a traveling companion: a hitchhiking “pet rock” that got stuck in one of its wheels. Fortunately, the Martian rock won’t interfere with the rover’s science mission and is only a minor inconvenience – like having a pebble stuck in your shoe.

Perseverance’s front left wheel accidentally picked up the Pet Rock on February 4, or Sol 341 — the 341st Martian day of the Martian year, according to a statement by NASA (opens in new tab). The rock has regularly bombarded images taken by the hazard avoidance camera (Hazcam) on the rover’s front left. Recent images show that 126 days (123 sols) after it first hitchhiked, the rock is still tumbling along with Perseverance. (A sol, or Martian day, is only 37 minutes longer than an Earth day.)

https://www.livescience.com/perseverance-rover-pet-rock Perseverance rover accidentally adopts hitchhiking ‘pet rock’

Russell Falcon

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