The Perseverance rover accidentally adopts the “pet rock” of hitchhiking

An image of Perseverance’s “pet rock” stuck in the rover’s front left wheel taken on May 26 using the rover’s front left Hazcam. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Roaming Mars has been a lonely existence for NASA’s Perseverance, but the exploratory rover now has a traveling companion: a hitchhiking “pet rock” that got stuck in one of its wheels. Luckily, the Martian Stone won’t impact the rover’s science mission and is only a minor inconvenience, like getting a pebble stuck in your shoe.

According to a statement by Nasa (opens in a new tab). The rock periodically has photobombed images taken by the rover’s left front hazard avoidance camera (Hazcam). Recent footage shows the boulder continuing to collapse with Perseverance 126 days (123 sols) after hitchhiking for the first time. (A sol, or Martian day, is only 37 minutes longer than an Earth day.)

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