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The Perseverance science team yesterday outlined the first steps in their plan to remove pieces of debris that had fallen into the core sample bit storage carousel, as shown by the picture to the right, and thus prevents them from storing further core samples.
First they have taken pictures of an area of the ground below the rover to establish a baseline. Then,
With this below-chassis, preliminary imaging, in hand, the team [will return] the remaining contents of Sample Tube 261 (our latest cored-rock sample) back to its planet of origin. Although this scenario was never designed or planned for prior to launch, it turns out dumping a core from an open tube is a fairly straightforward process (at least during Earth testing). We sent commands up yesterday, and later on today the rover’s robotic arm will simply point the open end of the sample tube toward the surface of Mars and let gravity do the rest.
This maneuver will tell them exactly how much material broke off the core when some pieces of it dropped into the carousel.
Next, on January 18th, they will have the bit carousel perform two short rotations, the first short and the second longer, to shift the debris in the carousel and get more information about it. Some might drop out with this maneuver, so they are also going to take more ground pictures to see if any did.
They have not yet outlined the next steps in this removal procedure, though they have said the need for this procedure was anticipated when the rover was designed. Thus they must know what those steps will be, but are likely holding off outlining them because they might need to revise their actions depending on what they learn in the next few days.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.