Perseverance spent this week on Mars roving throughout the highest of the Jezero fan- from Mount Meeker to Dream Lake- looking for one more pattern for return to Earth. This higher area referred to as Lobe Okay is predicted to comprise a few of the most not too long ago deposited supplies throughout the delta sequence, offering the chance to put each higher and decrease bounds on the timing of aqueous exercise that constructed the fan. One other fascinating function of this area contains an array of boulders that dot this area. These rocks are compelling as a result of they’re thought to have been sourced outdoors the watershed, transported from afar by the water that flowed into Jezero crater way back. After sampling in-place materials from Lobe Okay, the group plans to gather a core from one among these boulders. With this goal, scientists hope to achieve perception into each native and distal geologic historical past, together with the geochemical circumstances the place the boulder fashioned, depositional processes that introduced this materials to Jezero, and environmental modifications which have occurred since emplacement. Since these massive rocks are thought to have been transported to the area after the fan fashioned and set down on high of the Lobe Okay materials, this pattern will assist scientists higher perceive how Jezero and the Martian surroundings continued to evolve all through time. Boulders are additionally nice rocks for performing geochronological analyses!
There could also be an abundance of compelling targets in Lobe Okay, however gathering a pattern from this lithology has offered a problem. The final core Perseverance drilled was a conglomerate known as Otis Peak on the Onahu outcrop, and the tender and crumbly nature of this outcrop meant that a number of makes an attempt have been required earlier than the group was in a position to efficiently gather a core. Now it’s a special story- these rocks are a lot tougher. Perseverance initially carried out abrasion and proximity science on a goal known as Dragon’s Egg in preparation to pattern the adjoining Misplaced Lake, however the rock was so onerous that the abrasion bit was solely in a position to partially grind into the goal, and the drilling bit was unable to dig deep sufficient to gather a core with the required 2.5 cm size. The group determined to depart the workspace- with a trove of knowledge from the Dragon’s Egg abrasion prox sci in hand- and head to Dream Lake to search for one other Lobe Okay rock to pattern. These rocks could also be robust, however Perseverance is more durable and received’t surrender till the core is secured!