It looks like the Perseverance rover has a rock in its wheel. The image of the stone was chosen as the image of the week for Week 54 of the Perseverance mission. The image of the week is chosen by the public. Perseverance captured this image.
The image was captured by the camera on the rover. The Hazard Cameras are able to survey the surroundings when the rover stops. The Hazard Cameras help evaluate the dangers in front of and behind the rover. The cameras create 3D views of the surroundings that help the rover make its own decisions without the help of the team on Earth.
The rock has been there for a few days. It is difficult to tell from the picture, but it does not appear to be wedged in. Will it fall out during normal operations?
The rock doesn't seem to be causing any problems for the rover. It's not the first time a stone got stuck in a wheel. There was a rocky hitch in one of the wheels.
Rocks can get stuck in the wheels of the rover. As the rover moves over loose terrain, they can get in as it breaks rocks into pieces. The rocks are likely to hop in as the wheels are heavy, according to an article by a scientist.
Rocks in rover wheels are not a problem in the past. The rocks fall out on their own. If the rocks interfere with the cables running to the motor on each wheel, it's not a problem.
NASA doesn't seem worried about it, but they would change the design to prevent it.
At least one Mars rover ended because of problems with its wheels. In 2009, NASA's Spirit Rover got stuck in soft soil. After months of carefully planned maneuvers and extrication attempts, NASA announced that the rover was stuck. They ended the mission in May 2011.
Perseverance's mission was to last at least one Mars year or It is over halfway through its mission at 373 sols on March 8th.
The rover missions to Mars tend to last longer than planned. They were supposed to last about 90 sols, but they lasted less than that. The primary mission of the MSL was only .
The planned mission length is at least one full Martian year. The Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator could last ten years or more. Hopefully, Perseverance will complete its mission and find biosignatures.
The mission will end eventually. It probably won't be because of a rock.