Study determines the original orientations of rocks drilled on Mars

March 04, 2024

As it trundles around an ancient lakebed on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover is assembling a one-of-a-kind rock collection. Since it touched down on the surface of Mars in 2021, the rover has filled 20 of its 43 tubes with cores of bedrock. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSSIn a study appearing today in the journal Earth and Space Science, an MIT team reports that they have determined the original orientation of most bedrock samples collected by the rover to date. Piecing together the orientations of multiple rocks at various locations can then give scientists clues to the conditions on Mars in which the rocks originally formed. Similarly, to sample bedrock, Perseverance corkscrews a tube-shaped drill into the ground at a perpendicular angle, then pulls the drill directly back out, along with any rock that it penetrates.

The source of this news is from Massachusetts Institute of Technology