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The Perseverance Wagon befriended Elif Rock about four months ago, and the two have been inseparable ever since.
A rock found its way into the rover’s left front wheel in early February while it was cruising around the Red Planet, according to Perseverance. Leave the camera to avoid dangers.
Within four months, the boulders have cut more than 5.3 miles (8.5 kilometers) through the rugged terrain. She joined the mission during the expedition to explore Jezero Crater, the site of an ancient lake and river delta, where NASA scientists surveyed rocks from a formation the team refers to as “Máaz.”
It escorted the persevering rock north to the Octavia E. Butler landing site before turning west into a delta remnant that scientists call “Kodiak,” and then to the west of the Jezero Delta.
The current focus of the Mars rover is on drilling cores and examining sedimentary rocks around the delta region. These rocks were created billions of years ago when there was water in the area, According to NASA.
Rolling in the rover wheel, the pet perseverance rock does not harm operations, and it remains to be seen how long the new robotic explorer friend will survive.
If the pet rock fell and called the rover, it would be far from home, surrounded by strange and unfamiliar rocks.
Perseverance isn’t the first Mars spacecraft to adopt a pet rock.
The Spirit rover, which was active from 2004 to 2010, had stabilized a potato-sized boulder in its right rear wheel early in its flight. The stone stopped the wheel, so NASA scientists had to remove it.
The Curiosity rover was no stranger to hiking rocks and had multiple stones in the right front wheel for weeks at a time. The rover began roaming the Red Planet in the middle of 2012 and still working.
“Devoted student. Bacon advocate. Beer scholar. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot. Typical coffee enthusiast.”