And now for some rather silly news from Mars. NASA’s Perseverance rover has, it seems, a pet rock. You heard that correctly. Percy has a pet rock.
Back in early February, on sol 341, a lumpy rock found its way into the wheel well of Percy’s front left wheel. And it has been hitching a ride on the rover ever since, traveling more than 8.5 kilometers to date. Despite the oftentimes bumpy journey, the rock has continued to hang in there, appearing occasionally in the left Hazcam pictures. Most recently, the rock was seen sol 449, May 26, still hanging out in Percy’s left front wheel.
One of the best parts of this story is that, at some point, the rock is going to exit the building… er, rover. And maybe someday, some poor Martian geologist or grad student will find it where it doesn’t belong and wonder how in the world it got there.
Personally, I think we need to name Percy’s friend, so feel free to share your suggestions with us. And we’ll have links to some of the images of said friend in our show notes at DailySpace.org.
Perseverance Has a Pet Rock! (NASA)