After the spaghetti or noodles episode, NASA has again found something unusual- cat-hair-like fibre in Perseverance Rover’s Drill. Know what it is.
NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover, often takes photos of the tools that it has to make sure everything is in working order after completion of any boring activity on the Red Planet. Recently, the rover’s 12th sample from Mars was stored and sealed for possible future retrieval and journey back to Earth. As usual, the team then took images of the drill and sample collection system components. And much to the surprise of the team, there seems to be something bizarre there and it resembles cat hair! “In those images, two small pieces of debris were visible – a small object on the coring bit (stored in the bit carousel) and a small hairline object on the drill chuck,” NASA said in a blog post.
NASA further confirmed that the team is now looking into the origin of the debris. Also, the agency will investigate whether the debris originated from the rover or external debris from the entry, descent, and landing system that was dumped at the beginning of the mission. In the initial phase of the investigation, the rover team will be taking more pictures of the drill bit carousel via Perseverance’s forward Hazcam and Navcams to check if there is any foreign object debris visible.
Further, the rover team will also take pictures of the area on the ground where the core sample was taken to find any additional fibers or rock fragments that may help to narrate the story behind this cat-fiber-like substance. NASA expected these imaging data finalization over this weekend.
However, this is not the first time NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover found such an unusual fibre-like substance. A few weeks ago, it had captured an image of an area with its Front Right Hazard Avoidance Camera A, which showed a bizarre thread-like substance, which was dubbed spaghetti or noodles by many, and it was later identified as debris left over from Perseverance’s own landing on Mars. This cat hair substance is probably also debris from the rover.
Earlier this year, the team had to perform a special maneuver with the drill to eject bits of rock from it; the process is visible in this animation, showing the rock bits falling out. The team will determine if a similar maneuver can get rid of the current rock fragments.