Perseverance, NASA’s Mars rover, has reportedly had a pet rock since early February.
An unexpected friend: The rock slid onto the rover’s wheel a few months ago and has since traveled more than 5.3 miles with Perseverance.
- NASA says that the rock isn’t doing any damage to the wheel and has made appearances in pictures taken by the rover.
About the rock: Scientists at NASA believe the rock is made up of lava flows.
- “If this pet rock could talk it might tell us about the changes it’s noticed as we traveled back north through the Octavia E. Butler landing site, and then west, passing the spectacular remains of the former extent of the delta, ‘Kodiak,’ on our journey to the western Jezero Delta,” NASA said.
Pet rocks of the past: Business Insider reports this isn’t the first time pet rocks have found their way onto the parts of a rover. About 18 years ago, a “potato-sized” rock tagged along with the Spirit rover.
Can we get the rock out? These rocks often fall onto the rover during cross-slope drives, and then fall out on their own over time. There’s no way for scientists to get this rock off of the rover, according to Business Insider.
About Perseverance: Perseverance was launched in July 2020 and landed on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021.
- Its main job is to find signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples to hopefully bring back to Earth, NASA reported.