The rock has been on the Perseverance ‘s wheels for almost a month now , though without hampering its movement.
NASA ‘s robot , Perseverance , has literally hit a rock in its path. The space agency has pointed out that a rock has become stuck in its wheels.
According to images from Perseverance itself, the stone has been in the wheels since at least February 6, but, fortunately, it is not slowing down the rover’s movement.
The main photograph was taken on February 25, 2022, but a similar image taken five days later showed the rock still firmly in place.
— Fraser Cain (@fcain) March 7, 2022
There are no major difficulties
The rock in Perseverance has become almost an accessory of the robot’s day-to-day life, without major setbacks in its missions.
“It is not perceived as a risk. We’ve also seen these types of rocks ‘caught’ in Curiosity’s wheels from time to time,” a JPL spokesperson explained in an email to Gizmodo .
“They happen during cross slope runs and tend to fall off on their own after a while (there’s no particular way to get this rock out of our ‘shoe’). These types of rocks don’t affect the ride apart from making it a bit noisier.”
The spokesman said the rock appears to have been picked up in early February, “probably when we did our first long AutoNav trip,” which involved a “significant amount of cross-slope driving.”
Perseverance ‘s six wheels are made of aluminum, with lugs that give it traction on the rough, rocky, dusty terrain of Jezero Crater. Each wheel is 20.7 inches (52.5 centimeters) in diameter.