The team behind Perseverance discovered that several pebbles were stuck in its drill. The scientific operations had to come to a halt until the issue was fixed. After several attempts that involved rotating the bit carousel that houses the core samples and making the rover "twist with one foot," the debris was finally removed.
It's been a bit over a month since then. During this time, Perseverance resumed its scientific operations and went to the next sampling site, where it picked a target rock from a higher standing boulder that could help scientists better understand the history of the ancient crater.
After characterizing the rock, nicknamed "Sid," the rover went to drilling, successfully getting its seventh core sample. Recently, Perseverance's team took to Twitter to announce that the resulting piece of Mars was safely socked away and that the machine will "get one more sample here before heading on toward the ancient river delta."
Once it obtains the sample, Perseverance will go to the delta. There, it will explore sedimentary rock layers, clay minerals, and rounded boulders located beyond Jezero and search for signs of ancient microbial life. Scientists believe that the crater once hosted liquid water, and these features could shine some light into the wet past of Mars.
My rock collection is growing…— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 8, 2022
I’ve got my seventh core sample onboard, drilled from the rock you see here. I plan to get one more sample here before heading on toward the ancient river delta. #SamplingMars
Latest images: https://t.co/Ex1QDokQ0C pic.twitter.com/BpuCivVCE9