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Perseverance has been on Mars for more than a year, broadcasting photos of the Red Planet all the time. We have seen the crater Jezero itself, along with thousands of photos of the Martian landscape and the sky. Perseverance also takes periodic selfies to check its status and calibrate its sensors. But there on the Red Planet is lonely. So, a few months ago, the rover took a satellite. Tucked into one of its wheels, Perseverance has a pet rock.

It’s not AIBO or K-9, but it’s certainly been on Perseverance’s heels for months. Scientists from the mission believe that the rock came from debris that the rover picked up during his trip across the Lake. IN blog postPerseverance team member Eleni Ravanis said the rock may have come from lava flows in the Máaz Formation at Jezero Crater. But that’s not all that makes it special.

This is not the first time a rock has been taken on a rover mission. Spirit and Curiosity had their own companions. But this is the longest rover we’ve ever seen hanging on the same rock. “Although it is not clear exactly how long these rocks have remained, they tend to bounce back in a few weeks,” Ravanis said. “Therefore, the current satellite of Perseverance is about to set records for crossing Mars!”

Perseverance has a pet!  The rover captured this image of his pet, using his on-board camera to avoid danger.

NASA’s Mars Perseverance first captured this image of its pet on February 6, 2022 (Sol 343), using its on-board camera to avoid danger. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Perseverance first caught her pet in front of a camera in February. “It simply came to our notice then. “We’ve also seen these types of stones get caught in the wheels of Curiosity from time to time,” a JPL spokesman said. explain. “They appear when moving on a transverse slope and tend to fall off completely on their own after a while (there is no specific way to remove this stone from our” shoe “). These types of stones do not affect driving, except that they make it a little noisier. ”

Since Perseverance took their pet, the couple has traveled more than five miles (8 km). We don’t know if the stone will fall or stay with the rover. But if he leaves, he will fall among rocks very different from himself. Perseverance is currently navigating the Hawksbill Gap, a route to the top of the Three Forks River Delta. But the rocks taken from him on May 29, 2022 (Sol 452) look like sedimentary rock. A lava rock would indeed be far from the County.

So far, the rover Perseverance has collected eight samples of rock core. The rover has already entered its Delta Front scientific campaign. And recently received permission from NASA to “choose its own targets to attack.” But it seems that Perseverance got his pet by pure chance. In a blog post, Ravanis jokingly said, “How do you choose a rock on Mars? Sometimes you don’t – it chooses you. “

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