Rock stuck in Perseverance rover’s tire breaks hitchhiking record on the Red Planet

(ORDO NEWS) — The Perseverance rover has not yet found water on the Red Planet, but managed to get a pet.

A few months ago, a stone the size of a potato got stuck in the front left wheel of an all-terrain vehicle. He even broke the record among Martian hitchhikers.

A small hitchhiker drove with the rover for more than 8 kilometers

According to NASA , scientists noticed a stone in the wheel of the Perseverance rover operating in the Jezero crater in early February.

What record did this stone break?

In fact, this is far from the first time the rover has taken on a little rock friend. Back in 2004, the Spirit rover accidentally picked up a small rock that later fell out during the trip.

Over the past decade, Curiosity has also picked up a number of hitchhikers, although none of them managed to stay with the veteran rover for more than a few weeks.

The new hitchhiker was spotted on February 6, meaning he’s been traveling with the rover for at least four months now.

This is the hitchhiking record on Mars. According to researchers, their joint path is approximately 8.5 kilometers.

Perseverance’s main job is to collect the rocks of the Red Planet, but the small rock inside the wheel was not suitable for this.

The rover is equipped with scientific instruments that should determine the chemical and mineral composition and search for organic substances, as well as better characterize the geological processes on the planet.

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