After Mars Rover Fails to Collect Rock, NASA Blames Rock

It is a brilliant example of logic.Empty-HandedPerseverance is a robotic rover designed by NASA to collect rock samples from Mars and prepare them for returning to Earth.NASA celebrated last week after Perseverance was instructed to drill a hole in the Martian regolith below it and collect some samples. Scientific American reports that this celebration was premature. The team discovered that Perseverance had come up empty-handed, and they were unable to find the storage tube. They went crazy trying to figure out what happened.SciAm scientist Ken Farley, Perseverance team scientist, said that it was an absolutely amazing moment.NASA insists now, with all of the confidence of a helicopter parent that it is not Perseverances fault. They claim it was the treacherous rock.AdvertisementAdvertisementPointing FingersNASA claims that the rock was too fragile for Perseverance's well-constructed tools to grab and caused it to fall to the Martian soil.Mars was not being fair. SciAm reports that NASA said that the rock was a loose, crumbly mass that fell apart into fine pieces and that they were fooled by its appearance to be a solid sample.It can be rephrased as follows: The best engineers and scientists in the industry built a robot to pick up rocks. Now, it is the fault of the rocks for not being picked up.Fool Me TwiceNASA has announced that it will soon be trying again, with all the grace and dignity of an actor rejoicing after the worst audition of his life. NASA says it is pretty certain that this was a fluke, continuing our faltering metaphor. Perseverance is not the problem. It was the rock. That is important to remember.AdvertisementAdvertisementFarley stated that there is reasonable confidence in the possibility that this rock is unique and strange.READ MORE: Crumbly Mars Rock is not Hardware Flaws. Scuttled Perseverances. First Sample Attempt [Scientific American]More on persistence: Mars Rover tries to collect rock to send back to Earth, but fails miserably