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NASA believes it’s solved the mystery of the missing Martian rock

todayAugust 12, 2021 7

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NASA believes it’s discovered why a chunk of Martian rock mysteriously vanished.

The Perseverance rover had tried to collect the sample as part of its search for signs of ancient life on the red planet.

Perseverance used its seven-foot-long robotic arm to bore into the Martian surface and grab the rock.

Data confirmed the drill had reached the proper depth. Telemetry and photos confirmed the sample tube had been sealed and placed in storage. There was only one problem: the container was empty.

The Perseverance team was baffled. Had the robotic arm malfunctioned? Did an irate Martian intervene in the attempted theft of its land? Not according to NASA. The space agency is blaming the failure on the rock.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech